Girls Soccer: Swanson makes most of second chance, gets game-winner in Downers Grove South's crosstown victory
Downers Grove South sophomore forward Skylar Swanson ran onto the perfect lead pass from Emily Petring and sent a wide-open shot over the crossbar.
Swanson put her hands up in dismay after the missed opportunity midway through the second half, not knowing if she would get another chance to score against crosstown rival Downers Grove North.
She did. Swanson scored on a rebound with 7:11 remaining and it proved to be the difference as the visiting Mustangs held on for a 2-1 win Saturday at Carstens Field.
It was the first career game-winning goal for Swanson, a talented two sport-athlete who also is a varsity swimmer.
"It feels really good to come back and make up for something I could have done earlier in the game, to stick with it," Swanson said.
Swanson's big moment came when Teyani Sharkey's 41-yard free kick was bobbled by the Downers Grove North goalkeeper. Swanson pounced on the loose ball and scored.
"I just paid attention to how the goalie was throughout the game and I know Teyani's got a good shot," Swanson said. "So I was like, 'I'm going to run in while staying onsides and stick with it.'
"You never know. You've got to stay with those in case the ball comes out. That's the second goal I've had off of a kick that the goalie fumbled."
Downers Grove South coach Chris Hernandez was pleased to see Swanson take advantage of the opportunity.
"Skylar did a great job anticipating and was the first one to the ball and found a way to get it past the goalkeeper," Hernandez said. "I know she was beating herself up after missing that (earlier) chance.
"We couldn't be happier that she was the one who got that goal. She's a sophomore who is coming up and starting basically every game for us and we're very happy with her progress."
The Mustangs (13-3-1) scored first when Petring, a Coastal Carolina commit, converted a penalty kick after being taken down in the box with 29:55 left in the second half. It was Petring's 28th goal of the season and 68th of her career, moving her into fifth place on the school's career scoring list.
But the Trojans (9-8-2) tied it seven minutes later on Kaitlyn Parker's penalty kick. Downers Grove North, though, mustered only one more shot after that.
The Trojans blocked two free kicks from Petring before Swanson's goal.
"She follows through on every kick," Petring said of Swanson. "I know I can count on her at all times.
"She's a great player and she's gotten so much better throughout the year."
Girls Soccer, Downers Grove North at Downers Grove SouthPublished
Downers Grove North coach Brian Papa said his team needs to be better at eliminating mistakes.
"That's been the story of our year -- we make a mistake, we pay," Papa said. "It's unfortunate what happened.
"I thought our girls played fine. We've just got to figure out how to score goals and stop giving goals away."
Petring said beating the Trojans was special. But the Trojans could get a chance at redemption. If the Trojans and Mustangs both win their playoff openers, they would meet in the Class 3A Addison Trail Regional final on May 19.
"I think we played great as a team," Petring said. "For my last year, I think all of our seniors wanted to make it memorable.
"But we're not done yet. We still might play them in the playoffs. That's what we look forward to next."