Girls soccer: Timothy Christian upsets Quincy Notre Dame
Emma Carter had a feeling something good was about to happen.
It did, and it came from her right foot.
Carter scored on a 23-yard shot into the upper left corner of the net with 2:46 left in the first half and Timothy Christian hung on to stun Quincy Notre Dame 1-0 in the Class 1A state soccer semifinals Friday at Hoffman Estates.
The Trojans (17-2) will play Belleville Althoff (21-2) for the state championship at 2 p.m. Saturday. They will be seeking their first state title in their first appearance in the final.
"Offensively, we had so many opportunities and we were kind of seeing how we could still connect and play our own game," Carter said. "That's when we realized, 'Hey, we missed a couple shots, we're knocking on the door and we were going to get one if we just kept grinding it out and working hard for each other.'
"I think that's when the goal happened."
Indeed, the Trojans surprisingly had the better of the play for the entire first half, outshooting the bigger, stronger Raiders 10-3. Notre Dame goalkeeper Aly Young made five saves to keep the game scoreless, including three difficult stops on Carter, who broke through for her team-high 22nd goal of the season.
Then it was the defense's turn to shine. The Trojans shut down Notre Dame star Lia Quintero, who led the Raiders (17-2-1) with 38 goals and 11 assists this season.
Timothy goalkeeper Corinne Myket made five of her six saves in the second half and the back line, especially right back Sophia Biscan, held its own despite a significant size mismatch.
"A lot of people are a lot taller than me, so I have to beat them to the ball," said Biscan, who stands 5-foot tall. "I can't really push them off the ball, so I try to beat them back and then get the ball and try to find feet."
Beating Notre Dame, which has won five state titles since 2010 and had won its last 10 state finals games, was an impressive feat. The Raiders had not been shut out this season.
"My whole back line is solid," Timothy Christian coach Jon Hamelinck said. "We figured we'd deny entry into Lia, don't allow her to turn and we're going to frustrate her and it worked well."
Timothy's play impressed Notre Dame coach Mark Longo.
"They played well," Longo said. "We were a little bit flat in the first half but they probably had a lot to do with that.
"Second half we did a lot of nice things. We just couldn't get the ball in the net."
The Trojans will be underdogs against Belleville Althoff, just as they were against Notre Dame. But that doesn't bother them.
"We have the mentality that we're not going to go into a game scared of anybody," Hamelinck said. "We have a talented, balanced group.
"Any girls can score in any game. If one girl is not going, the other girl picks her up."