Mannion kicks Fenwick to tourney title

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As the seventh shooter in Fenwick’s penalty-kicks lineup Sunday, Jackie Mannion never expected to get a chance to win the Windy City Ram Classic.

When the opportunity came, the junior delivered and produced a moment she likely won’t soon forget.

Mannion sent a bouncing shot inside the left post for the game-winner as the Friars held a 5-4 edge in the shootout for a 1-0 win over Bolingbrook in the championship game at Toyota Park.

“I was really nervous,” Mannion said. “I just aimed for the corner and it went in. It was really fun playing on this field and winning this tournament really got us pumped up and ready for the rest of the season.”

The Friars (4-0) marched through the inaugural girls event – a Windy City Ram Classic boys tournament has been held in the fall for the last 11 years – with 7-0 wins over Eisenhower and Romeoville, and a 1-0 victory over Lincoln-Way West in the semifinals.

The teams were tied 3-3 after the original five shooters in the shootout. Cali Pyzdrowski, Bridget Hillsman and Maddie Stupinski scored for Fenwick while Rachel Schneider, Caroline Harvey and Nikia Smith found the net for the Raiders (3-1).

After Nora Madden scored for Fenwick and Jamie Gutierrez for Bolingbrook, Mannion’s goal became the game-winner when Bianca Rivera’s shot sailed wide for the Raiders.

Jesse Cwik made three saves in her fourth shutout of the tournament for Fenwick. None were bigger than the one she made in the second overtime, when Melissa Verdin’s cross set up Harvey, whose shot was deflected by Cwik off the post and out.

“It was a great performance by Jesse,” Fenwick coach Robert Watson said. “The girls get 100 percent of the credit for this. We really enjoyed playing here, and winning was the icing on the cake.”

Fenwick controlled the first half and came up empty on several good chances before the Raiders picked it up after the break and created opportunities of their own.

Cwik made a big save on a Harvey shot with eight minutes left in regulation. The Friars nearly won it in the final seconds of regulation when Hillsman’s shot at the buzzer missed just high.

Karissa Jones and Amy Fetters – who moved from defender to goalie when Jones was injured in the final moments of regulation – made two saves each for the Raiders.

“It was a really good experience making it to the championship and playing here,” Smith said. “It was a tough way to lose, but I’m really proud of my team and our fight.”

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