OAK PARK — The best athletes shine in the playoffs and on Tuesday, Oak Park-River Forest senior Rose Taylor was stellar.
The Huskies defeated Glenbard West (15-5) 2-1 in the state quarterfinals at Oak Park-River Forest, knocking off the Hilltoppers for the second time in 10 days.
Taylor made it 2-0 with 4:44 left in the first half and the Huskies held on in the second half. She also scored in OPRF’s playoff opener on Oct. 22, a 4-0 win over Parker.
“I love the competition of the playoffs and I love the intensity of each game,” Taylor said.
Having played field hockey since fourth grade, Taylor was an all-state selection last year. Fellow senior Robyn Crowley, who scored the first goal of the match and took four shots, said she thinks her teammate will be selected again this year.
“Rose is very, very consistent,” said head coach Lauren Blanco. “She is very dependable. She is great on both sides of the ball, so she is our right mid and is equally great on offense attacking and she helps out a ton on defense. She’s one of our lowest body position players, which is one of the best things you can have going for you as a field player.
Taylor also plays soccer and energizes her teammates.
“She’s not super vocal but she definitely sparks our team just with her intensity and her drive and her effort on the field. It definitely gets people going and when Rose is on, the rest of our team is on.”
Goalkeeper Kathryn Thiese, who recorded eight saves, said Taylor’s second goal is what got the team excited.
“I mean, the first goal was great too, but the second goal just brought us into a great lead and it really got us going,” Thiese said. “She’s one of our captains. She definitely pumps us up before each game and is a great leader. … She really makes us enthusiastic and tells us to try our best.”
The Huskies (14-5) will play in the state semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at New Trier; the state championship game is 2 p.m. Saturday.
Oak Park-River Forest is seeking its first state crown since 2003.
“Yes, we are very excited,” Taylor said. “Last year we didn’t make it to state. So this year we are very happy we made it.”