BERWYN – The days of strong defense being unrewarded finally ended for Downers Grove South’s girls soccer team.
Sophomore Paige Reichert’s goal with 15:36 to play produced a 1-0 win for the Mustangs on April 18, potentially triggering a series of 2017 breakthroughs.
“That’s our first goal, and our first win,” Downers South coach Chris Hernandez said. “It’s a transition year for us. We lost nine starters from last year and have a lot of players new to positions who have had to step up and learn a role.
“We had seven sophomores and a freshman play more than half the game. For us, it’s about learning.”
After being denied on quality first-half chances for Lauren Travis, Gina Gonzalez, Jill Paladino, Lauren Victorin and Vivian Pierropoulos, the Mustangs (1-6-2) defied a strong second-half wind in their face to go up 1-0. Reichert ran down an upfield pass from defender Jen Masello and lined a low 15-yard shot into the net, ending the long scoring drought.
“At first I thought it was offsides,” Reichert said, “but I just kept playing through, got to the end of [the pass] and ended up scoring.
“We’re really young at the forwards [three sophomores], so we’re still getting the whole idea of our formations. It’s coming. We finally scored a goal and got over that hump, so we’re going to keep going and hopefully score a lot more.”