Bridget Gallogly has beenOPRF soccer team's assist specialist for the entire regular season. The center midfielder helped out on nearly half of the 40 goals her team scored. But the Huskies (15-4-1) won't be able to rely on Gallogly's unselfish play and leadership qualities for the playoffs. The four-year varsity player suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left leg during OPRF's 2-0 shutout of York on May 17. The victory put the Huskies in a three-way tie with Hinsdale Central and Lyons Township for the West Suburban Conference title, but the injury will no doubt muddle OPRF's playoff chances.
"Bridget being out is a big factor for us," said OPRF head coach Doug Hunt. "She's one of the team's leaders and someone with a lot of playoff experience. It's a big loss, there's no question. But hopefully other players will step up."
The good news is the Huskies do have home-field advantage in both the regional and sectional playoffs. Hunt also said he's expecting leading scorer Ana Poppageorge to be ready to play by the start of the sectionals. Poppageorge, who has scored eight goals for the Huskies this season, is recovering from a medial cruciate ligament strain suffered earlier in the year.
OPRF shouldn't have any problem securing a regional title against Farragut or Juarez on Thursday (3:30 p.m.). The Huskies crushed Kelvyn Park 7-0 on Monday to open the regional.
The first true taste of competition for OPRF should come in the form of Morton or Lincoln Park in the opening round of the Oak Park Sectional on Saturday (11 a.m.). The Huskies downed Morton 3-1 at the end of a stretch of four games in five days earlier in the month.
A rematch with WSC foe Lyons Township more than likely looms for the sectional title game. OPRF managed to edge the Lions 1-0 back in early April.
With Gallogly out and Poppageorge herself coming off an injury, defense will be a factor in the Huskies' postseason run. Keeping opponents at bay has been one of OPRF's strong suits this season. In 19 games during the regular season, goalkeeper M.G. Huth and the team have racked up a whopping 10 shutouts. Huth had 12 saves in the win over York, while Emily Steffen and Hali Schwartz each scored a goal apiece for the Huskies.