A trio of Lemont sophomores rose to the occasion in the team’s biggest game of the season.
Kailey Wasyliw, Victoria Silvar and Trinity Hatton were outstanding in helping the Indians to a 2-0 victory in the Class 2A Rich East Sectional semifinal Wednesday.
The win earns Lemont a match against Joliet Catholic Academy in Friday’s sectional championship.
While the sophomores stole the show, Hatton was quick to credit her senior teammates for building an atmosphere conducive to winning.
“At first it was intimidating, but our seniors have made it so family friendly,” Hatton said. “We’ve all become so close. We go to pasta parties before games, and we are all so together. We all commit to each other, and that’s the biggest thing.”
Wasyliw scored the first goal of the match in the middle of the first half when junior Erin Crispo hit a ball through the Providence defense leading Wasyliw to the easy finish.
“I was making a run, and I saw Erin with the ball, so I ran across, and she touched it through,” Wasyliw said. “Then I took a touch to the right and aimed for the left corner.”
With it being a one-goal match, Hatton and the defense had to be excellent and it was, allowing almost nothing from the Celtic offense. Providence coach Daniel Potempa had a feeling it would be difficult to crack the Lemont defense.
“We’ve struggled to score all year, and I knew we were going to struggle today,” Potempa said. “I was hoping we could keep them out of the net and maybe sneak one in here or there, but they’re strong on the ball. They were able to finish when we weren’t. I think we gave them a good game. They’re a good team, a good strong program.”
The Celtics had a golden opportunity on a free kick from about 20 yards out in the second half but Grace Kucharski made a diving stop.
“It was huge. They probably had one or two chances on frame, and that was one. It was difficult. The ball was away from the keeper, and Grace [Kucharski] hadn’t touched the ball all day long,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “She handled it very well, read it quite well. Picked it up, didn’t give a rebound. She’s been a great keeper for us all year long, so we expect her to make a save like that.”
Lemont had several chances, but was unable to put Providence away until late in the second half.
Silvar represented the trio of sophomores well, hitting a strike from about 15 yards out past the Providence keeper to put the game away.
“I was trying to hit it down the line, but there were two people on me, so I tried my best, because I knew we needed a second goal,” Silvar said. “When I hit it, I wished for the best and luckily it went in.”
While the Indians were able to come up with a tough victory against Providence, Prangen knows the challenge against Joliet Catholic Academy will be much greater.
“They’re having a great year with two really great forwards good midfield play great defense plus they had a 7-0 game yesterday,” Prangen said. “They had a bit easier time than we did. It will take a lot of composure, a lot of organization.”
What’s the biggest key to coming out with a sectional championship? Wasyliw was concise with her thoughts.
“Play aggressive and finish our chances on goal,” she said.