Hinsdale South shuts out Lemont to advance to Cup championship game

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Huddling up before the start of the second half of Saturday’s Lemont Cup semifinal against the host Indians, Hinsdale South’s players let out a chant: “This is our year. This is our day.”

It was, indeed, the Hornets’ day as Maggie Nicosia and Tess Sobol scored in the second half of a 2-0 win over Lemont.

“This is really good for us,” Nicosia said. “We’ve improved a lot this year and we’ve really come together as a team. Lemont is a team that usually beats us and it seems like it’s always a tough, one-goal loss, so it feels really good to beat them.”

The Hornets (12-6), who have spent the majority of their time over the years in the Lemont Cup in the consolation bracket, advanced to take on Waubonsie Valley in the title game.

The date and time for the championship game was still to be determined after rain forced the tournament to begin Saturday instead of Friday.

Lemont (15-2-2) had a pair of strong chances early – Aleks Mihailovic firing just wide off a corner kick and Kim Jerantowski missing wide as well – but couldn’t get anything going against the Hinsdale South defense in the second half.

“They outworked us in the second half,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “The first goal was a soft goal for us to give up and we kind of panicked after that. Hinsdale South played well and they played with a greater desire.”

Nicosia was in the right place at the right time to get the Hornets on the board. Cali Vanderplow’s corner kick went through the box and found its way to Kristina Bielke on the opposite side of the field. Bielke’s shot attempt was off target, but right at Nicosia, who headed it past Indians goalie Kelly Fritz with 16:45 left in the match.

“I just redirected it with my head,” Nicosia said. “It was a lucky goal, but it was still good.”

Sobol provided the insurance, collecting the ball in the middle of the field and splitting two defenders to score with 6:21 to go.

“It was bouncing when it came to me, so I tried to control it with my knee,” Sobol said. “I remembered doing that drill in a camp, so it paid off there.”

Earlier Saturday, Hinsdale South picked up a 3-0 quarterfinal win over Sandburg – which played its JV squad – and Lemont beat Plainfield Central 1-0.

“We haven’t had many tight games this season,” Prangen said. “So this was good for us. It was disappointing we didn’t respond better [against Hinsdale South], but hopefully we can learn from it going into the playoffs.”

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