Girls soccer: Libertyville earns state trip with shutout of New Trier
All season long Libertyville's girls soccer team has worked hard and that work ethic has carried the Wildcats to the state's Final Four.
Libertyville's Avery Gleason scored the game-winning goal in the 97th minute to carry the Wildcats past New Trier 1-0 in two overtimes at the Class 3A supersectional Tuesday night in Northbrook.
Libertyville (17-1) will next play O'Fallon in the state semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Hoffman Estates High School.
This is the first time the Wildcats have reached state in girls soccer since they won the title in 2001.
Gleason scored some big goals this year and in the postseason, but this one notched the third straight postseason victory by one goal and on top of that she was given the game ball.
"I'll probably hang it up above my bed," said Gleason, who has 15 goals this season. "Addy Gordon is always good with those through balls. We do that play all the time and I knew it was coming. I ran for it and saw the goalie was on one side of the goal. I just put the ball into the corner. This one I had a better angle and it was the same one I got against Mundelein."
Libertyville was pushed time and time again by New Trier (20-2-4), a team the Wildcats handed both losses this season.
The Wildcats' back line didn't give up much space at all and goalkeeper Hannah Vieth had another clean sheet for her 14th this season as she stopped 17 shots.
"It feels great and we've been working hard all season," Vieth said. "That win was real crazy and to get that many saves, which kept us in the game. (New Trier) kept us on our toes. That was a real physical and mental battle for the whole game. We were getting shots on us 24/7. We had to keep our composure and keep playing. Our defense was crazy, there were 4 or 5 shots that went right to them and they stopped every ball to keep us into it."
Libertyville's schedule has been a good one. This team is state-tested and ready for the next step.
"It's always hard to beat a team twice," Libertyville coach Daniel De Paz said. "(New Trier) has a good team over there and some strong players. We're just lucky to get out of this game to be honest. Just our schedule all year, we've been prepared for something like this. We didn't take any friendly scheduling and we wanted to load some teams up and have some good games. That's kind of paid off for us."
New Trier had its chances and throughout the match, the Trevians were stopped from getting good shots to find the back of net time and time again.
"(Libertyville) has good athletes," New Trier coach Jim Burnside said. "They attack the ball well. They're a good athletic well-coached team. What can you do? Opportunities open and close very quick with them. So, we had some opportunities, but we needed to be a little quicker. They push you to be quick."