Soccer thrillers take center stage in playoffs

Tuesday was a busy night in the high school soccer postseason, with a couple of big games going to penalty kick shootouts. In the 2-A Freeport Regional semifinals, Boylan held off the hosts from Freeport, 3-2, in penalty kicks. After a scoreless first half, Boylan struck early in the second half when Frankie Schiro scored for a 1-0 lead, then Brooke Parnello gave Boylan a 2-0 lead. But Freeport answered back when Ally Hasken scored on a penalty kick, and with 12 minutes to go, Montana Stewart tied the game to force overtime. After two scoreless ten minute sessions, the game went to penalty kicks, where Boylan put it away on a boot from Mary Herra in the fifth round of the shootout, providing the 3-2 Lady Titans win. They advance to face Sycamore in the Regional final Friday night.

In the 1-A Hinckley-Big Rock Sectional semifinals, Stillman Valley edged Byron, 2-1, in penalty kicks. Byron got on the board first with about 15 minutes to play in the first half when Meghan McCarey sent a great ball across to Lauren Mondello for the first goal of the game. But about three minutes later, Raegan Wiehle scored to tie the game. It stayed that way until a penalty kick shootout, where Stillman Valley’s Maria Ilkow buried the game-winner in the fifth round, sending the Lady Cardinals to the Sectional title game with a 2-1 win. They face Aurora Central Catholic, who knocked off Rockford Lutheran 2-1 in the other Sectional semifinal in Hinckley.

In other playoff soccer action, Dixon defeated Kankakee, 8-0, Prairie Ridge beat Belvidere North, 6-0, DeKalb beat Streamwood, 3-0, and Hononegah beat Guilford, 3-0.

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