The OPRF girls' soccer team battled through injuries and shutout Lincoln Park 3-0 with a depleted roster on Saturday in the Huskies' first game of sectionals. They were led with goals from Laura Bach, Sarah Bunch, and Jenny Donley.
The game started with the Huskies in control much of the first half. They were unable to score until the last several minutes of the half, however, as Lincoln Park prevented the Huskies from moving the ball effectively.
The Huskies' first major scoring opportunity came when Emily Steffen picked up the ball near the Lincoln Park goal with 12:30 left in the first half. She moved past one defender, and had a clear shot at the net, but she was slide tackled. This resulted in a Lincoln Park red card, which meant that the Huskies had one more player on the field for the rest of the game.
With seven minutes left in the first half, play was stopped after a Lincoln Park player was injured. The player was taken off of the field in an ambulance.
Just two minutes later, OPRF scored the first goal of the game. Bunch got the ball near the Lincoln Park goal and moved to get an open shot. Her kick sent the ball into the upper portion of the goal, out of reach of the goalie's outstretched arms and just under the crossbar.
The Huskies scored again with just seven seconds remaining in the first half. Steffen carried the ball up the middle of the field and passed to Donley, who was running down the right side of the field. She fielded the pass and beat the Lincoln Park goalie with her shot, putting OPRF up 2-0 at halftime.
Lincoln Park did not seriously challenge the Huskies in the second half. The Huskies were never pressured in their own zone, and they set up camp near the Lincoln Park goal for much of the half.
The Huskies closed the door 20 minutes into the second frame when Bach picked up a pass wide of the Lincoln Park net and drove it past the Lincoln Park goalie and defenders.
Though the Huskies won, head coach Doug Hunt still thought that they could have played better.
"We didn't play our best game," said Hunt, "though after beating two teams 7-0 it is hard to come out and do that."
Hunt said he felt that his team did improve their play as the game went on, however. "We were focusing on movement of the ball," he said, "and in the second half we started doing it."
"We started picking it up once we realized that we had an extra man [because of the red card,]" said Amanda Corcos, who scored a goal in OPRF's 7-0 rout of Juarez for the regional championship on Thursday. Steffen led the Huskies with two goals in that win.
OPRF took on West Suburban (Silver) Conference foe Lyons Township on Tuesday (after deadline) for the sectional championship.