Lincoln-Way East’s Katie Wilson gets redemption in shootout win

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Katie Wilson made one mistake in the first half Thursday night, firing a ball that went off Lincoln-Way Central’s Liz McNeely and in.

When the game was on the line in a penalty-kick shootout, though, the Lincoln-Way East goalkeeper more than made up for it.

Wilson stopped all three shots she saw in the shootout as the Griffins won it by a 3-0 count to claim a 3-2 SouthWest Suburban Red victory in New Lenox.

“I definitely had to pick myself back up after [McNeely’s goal],” Wilson said. “It was tough because it was my mistake, but you just have to brush it off. When Jill [Kilrea] took the first shot [of the shootout] and scored, it really set the tone. I just had to make some saves to keep us in it.”

Kilrea and her sister, Caroline, each scored on low shots to give the Griffins (9-3-1, 2-0) a 2-0 lead in the shootout. Wilson, meanwhile, got her hand on Kyla Grundhofer’s shot to knock it away and followed it up with saves on Sarah Ortman and Brooke Mejdrich.

That set the stage for Lindsey Murphy to score the clincher in the fourth round.

The game only got to that point thanks to a terrific play by the Griffins’ Sam Fiorella and Jessica Rajca.

With the Knights (7-3-3, 1-1) up 2-1 and controlling play in the second half, Fiorella collected the ball in the corner and sent a perfectly-placed cross to Rajca – a reserve forward – who poked it home with 15:17 to go.

“We’ve been working on crosses and going back to the middle,” Rajca said. “To see it go in was awesome. I know a lot of the girls on their team, so to beat them is awesome.”

East struck first when Stephanie Zobel scored off a Jill Kilrea pass in the 14th minute. Just 39 seconds later, though, McNeely tied it.

The Knights took the lead with 34:49 to go on a great individual effort from Paige Proctor, who dribbled around a defender and fired a long shot over the head of Wilson (six saves).

“Paige did some good things for us, but we made two mental lapses in the back,” Central coach Dan Radz said. “We didn’t want to go to PKs because then we had to get it around Katie Wilson. She was tough.”

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