Aubrey Quick carries Shepard to convincing win

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Shepard’s Aubrey Quick told herself the time was now to be the difference for the Astros in the Class 3A Lincoln-Way East Regional semifinals.

“I thought ‘I’m going to step up,’’’ Quick said of her pregame plan. “’This is a regional game. This is big for us. Someone’s got to do it.’ So I did it.’’

Quick scored two long-range goals to lead Shepard to a lightning-shortened 4-0 win Tuesday night over Eisenhower that put the Astros in the title game Friday against the host Griffins.

Quick said her biggest strength is passing and seeing the field to set up her teammates, but that’s changing a little.

“I just started getting in the habit of looking for my own opportunities,’’ Quick said. “That’s what I’ve been working on.’’

Shepard (14-5-2) led 1-0 at halftime on Kristina Cypser’s rebound with 6:37 left in the half. Quick’s first goal was a 40-yard boot six minutes into the second half. A little more than two minutes later, Quick scored from 30 yards out for a 3-0 lead.

“They were giving me a lot of space in the middle and I was just attacking it,’’ she said. “I had the wind with me, so I was like ‘I’m just going to take ‘em.’ So I did.’’

“Kind of a slow start for us, but once we got things going in the second half, Aubrey picked things up,’’ Shepard coach Scott Wilkins said. “We just have to get things going from the beginning of the game, right from the start.’’

Wilkins said the steady play of forward Kelly Evancich and defender Rachel Libera ‘’talking, playing the ball out’’ were vital to the win. Kortnie Hanold scored the final goal.

In the first semifinal, Lincoln-Way East maintained ball possession and controlled play from the start in a 5-0 victory over Thornton Fractional United co-op.

Samantha Fiorella, one of only two seniors on the Griffins, had a goal and three assists.

After Stephanie Zobel opened the scoring four minutes into the game, East (14-7-2) went 26 minutes before Jessica Rajca and Fiorella scored 23 seconds apart for a 3-0 halftime lead.

“We had some good shots, we had some shots missed that were wide,’’ East coach Brian Papa said. “We find ourselves in shooting positions, sometimes we don’t put it on net. But I think we redeemed ourselves.’’

Papa praised defenders Lindsey Murphy and McKenna Fugett for their play on the back end. Jillian Kilrea and Hanna Dawczak completed the scoring.

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