The girls soccer regional final takes place at Metea Valley where the Mustangs claim their eighth straight regional crown. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
It’s the regional final of the girls soccer playoffs, and the Plainfield North Tigers travel to Metea Valley looking to end the Mustangs’ run of seven consecutive regional titles and prevent an all-DVC sectional matchup against Neuqua Valley.
However, it was the hosts looking like perennial champions from the start, and just a couple minutes in, a loose ball falls right to Olivia Hernandez to hammer home into the top of the net past a helpless Hannah Bukowski for the opener.
Looking to respond just as quickly as they conceded, Alex Tetteh almost finds an immediate leveler but sees her shot blocked away.
The ensuing corner is initially punched clear by Mustangs goalie Julia Straub, who then makes a fantastic save on a follow-up shot by the Tigers from outside the box.
On their next attack, Metea was inches away from doubling the lead as a perfectly placed cross finds the forehead of Tyra King, but her header rattles off the woodwork and it remains a one-goal game.
Alex Tetteh was the leading threat for Plainfield North throughout the first half, this time sending a warning shot high and wide of Straub’s net.
Metea did make it 2-0 on a spectacular finish directly from a corner kick. Kaylee Bannack volleys the ball into the bottom corner of the net. An incredible way to score her first goal of the season.
And shortly after, it could have been three for the Mustangs as great work along the end line from King gives her an opportunity to cross to the back post where Ella Johnson is just unable to find the finishing touch.
MV dominated most of the first half. Hernandez went looking for her second goal of the game only to be denied by a combination of Bukowski and the crossbar. Metea in front at the break, but not by as much as they might have been.
The Tigers produce the first chance of the second half as a free kick taken by Georgia Liapis finds the head of Tetteh, but she can’t direct her effort on frame.
Metea with a chance to make it 3-0 as Tyra’s sister Justyce King arrives at the back post on a corner, but sees her volleyed effort go wide.
Finally, the Mustangs pay for their missed chances on this thunderbolt of a strike by Liapis from 20 yards out, and suddenly Plainfield North is right back in the game down by just one.
The Tigers sense they have the momentum shown by the confidence of Tessa Fagerson driving through midfield only to be brought down by a foul before she could create an opportunity.
Momentum for the visitors proves to be short lived, though, as a good pass by Metea captain Leanne Barrett finds King who does the rest. A great finish and a goal she certainly deserves for all her hard work throughout the game.
But Fagerson wasn’t giving up yet for the Tigers, and this time another good run ends with an even better goal. With time winding down, the visitors look like they may still claw their way back even.
They would have their chances. Straub punches away this free kick, but no Tigers are able to turn home the rebound.
Next, it was Tetteh who gets yet another look at goal, but under pressure from the Mustangs defense, she drags her shot wide.
Bukowski was called into action once more to keep her team in it late. Here denying Barrett of what would have certainly been the dagger.
Last chance now for Plainfield North and a cross by Gabriella Mattio finds teammate Grace Roche in a crowd of players, but the header sails high. After a furious back-and-forth second half, Metea Valley holds on to claim an eighth straight regional crown and advances to face Neuqua Valley. 3-2 the final score over Plainfield North.
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