Girls soccer: Davis scores twice in DGS's regional title win

Downers Grove South's Marley Davis downplayed her role in Saturday's game.

The junior forward played an instrumental role in her team's playoff game against Fenwick.

On a sweltering afternoon, Davis played the hero role by extending the Mustangs' season with two goals in a 2-0 win over Fenwick in a Class 3A regional championship game at Downers Grove South. Davis increased her season total to 12 goals, right ahead of junior teammate Mallory Qualizza, who has 10 goals.

"I was running down the middle and was just there at the right time," Davis said of her first goal. "Anyone else could've scored on that. I was just there. It's really nice to be able to be here for this moment because I wasn't on the varsity (roster) in my freshman year. It's nice to win my first regional."

The Davis-Qualizza connection kept the Mustangs (15-0) undefeated, advancing to play Lyons on Tuesday in a sectional semifinal. Qualizza set up Davis' first goal, delivering a beautiful pass that allowed Davis to tap in a shot right in front of the goal in the 59th minute.

"They've been looking for each other, plus with Emily Petring that front three connection has been really strong for us," Downers Grove South coach Chris Hernandez said. "We're really excited to see how they develop. They will all be back next year."

The Mustangs nearly scored a goal in the 54th minute off a free kick before Qualizza's strong run and excellent pass to Davis finally ended the scoreless drought.

"I got the ball and was stressing and was trying to figure out where to pass the ball," Qualizza said. "I took the back of my foot because that was the only way I could pass it to (Marley). When she scored, that was the best feeling ever. We've worked on that all season, trying to find each other up top. This game really showed how much we've been working for it, and it has paid off.

"In the first half, we were a little tired and stuff and the heat gave us more motivation because we wanted to show it didn't matter," she said.

In the 68th minute, Davis gave the Mustangs some insurance by scoring on a penalty kick, knocking the ball in the near upper post for a 2-0 lead.

The back-and-forth game featured several yellow cards and a red card, leading to a physical game with a few injury stops.

Fenwick (8-3-2) had numerous chances to score the first goal of the game, but Downers Grove South freshman goalie Hannah Fedinec played stellar in the net. She finished with five saves, including three in the second half.

Fedinec has been a difference-maker for the Mustangs since she was inserted into the starting lineup late in the regular season. She had a key save to keep the game scoreless in the 53rd minute, diving to her left to knock out a potential shot. The ball rebounded back to her after deflecting off her hands and hitting the post, but Fedinec quickly grabbed the ball. Fenwick's next opportunity came in the 74th minute, but Fedinec corralled the ball for an easy save.

"(Hannah) has been playing great," Hernandez said. "The older kids have helped her to do well on this level. She's come and played great since we put her about five or six games in the startling lineup."

Fenwick goalie Audrey Hinrichs, a standout basketball player, finished with five saves.

"The girls played hard and they could and were spirited," Fenwick coach Craig Blazer said. "I wish Downers Grove South all the best. Our girls left it all out there. The eight seniors were great and provided leadership and are the base of what we're about. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores coming up, so the future is bright for Fenwick soccer."

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