Benet Academy and St. Ignatius battling in the IHSA Sectional Final at Nazareth to determine who advances to the Super-Sectional.
A clash of titans arrives on the field at Nazareth. St. Ignatius enters outscoring its opponents 19-1 through three games, but somehow that’s not as impressive as top seeded Benet Academy’s 29-0 scoring margin.
This one’s for the sectional championship… so you know the two teams will bring it. And that includes Jaimee Cibulka… who outraces her defender to the corner before cueing up Cami Pika. The junior chips it in from there to open the scoring 12 minutes into the game and Benet has the edge.
3:26 to go until the half and St. Ignatius on the prowl. Itzel Calderon launches a long-range bomb from the boundary… AND IT ALMOST BOUNCES IN! Eva Frantzen tracks it down, though, to keep the Wolfpack off the board.
Second half now, Benet’s Abby Casmere makes a series of nice moves on the baseline to shake free before finding the foot of Mia Tommasone. She makes a move of her own before unleashing a shot, but St. Ignatius goalie Emma Thompson in position to make the save.
Shade under 12 minutes to go in regulation and the Wolfpack desperate for a goal. Rachel Ryan isn’t feeling the pressure. She sneaks her way through the Redwings defense and sends in a laser for the equalizer. And the game’s all tied up a 1.
Half a minute to go before extra time is necessary… and Benet trying to render it useless. Picha puts a shot on net.. and it banks off the post! We’re getting free soccer!
After a scoreless first 10 minutes of extra time, we a minute into the second OT. And Frantzen emerges from the net and tries to make a stop, but is called for the foul… and the Wolfpack get a PK
Tense moments for Frantzen with the weight of the game on her shoulders… and she blocks the shot off the right foot of Grace Campbell! Game remains 1-1 as 80 minutes isn’t enough to settle this one.
So the fans shuffle down to the front row for PKs and you can just feel the anxiety in the stadium as the players line up with their seasons on the line.
First attempt for Benet comes from Kate Flynn and she gets an easy one to go.
Second attempt on Frantzen… and the goalie stops both of them going to her left! Huge moments in net for the senior.
Benet’s second shot at it… and its good for Maggie Roche! Benet leads 2-0 in PKs and the stands around bouncing!
After the Wolfpack get one to go, Benet’s third attempt… also sneaks in! Mia Ullmer giving BA a 3-1 edge.
So it’s down to this one stop of Frantzen… AND THAT’S IT! Frantzen stops 4 PKs in extra time and sends her team on to the super sectional. Benet wins a thriller and earn the right to hoist the sectional plaque! Up next… Fenwick.