The OPRF field hockey team did everything it could to win games during the Huskies' own invitational Saturday, except score goals. OPRF dominated its opponents offensively, yet the back of the net remained elusive as the Huskies were forced to settle for fourth place in the 16-team tournament. The Huskie Invitational is usually a preview of the Illinois High School Field Hockey Association State tournament, also to be held at OPRF in Nov. But the out-of-town teams prevailed this time around.
"It's certainly not the best finish for us," said OPRF head coach Jane Graham. "It's also a little frustrating because we had so many opportunities to score, we just couldn't sneak one in there when we needed to."
The Huskies, who were without four players-one starter-due to ACT testing, finished 1-1-2 in the two-day tournament that capped off with Sacred Heart of Kentucky edging Assumption (Kent.) 2-0 for the championship. OPRF downed Arrowhead (Wis.) 2-1 to close out its play on Saturday. Defender Emma Jasinski led OPRF with both goals, one coming off an offensive corner.
The victory helped the Huskies erase a disappointing 2-0 loss to Assumption in the opening round on Friday. In that game, the Huskies lost starter Grace Shirreff, who re-aggravated a leg injury. OPRF then went on to tie Deerfield 1-1 with Hannah Rasche scoring the Huskies' lone goal. OPRF also finished with a 0-0 stalemate against Villa Duchesne of St. Louis.
"This I'm hoping will be sort of a wakeup call for us as we go into a real tough week of games," said Graham, whose Huskies are 6-2-2 overall thus far in the season. "We need to work on some things like defending the fast breaks, but we're playing well. I saw a lot of people stepping up their play over the course of the entire tournament, which will help us down the road."
Graham noted Nicole Cordero, Lizzy Optholt and Morgan Flint contributed significantly in tournament action. Goalkeeper Lauren Gonzalez racked up nine saves in the tourney, bringing her total on the season to 28.
OPRF took on defending state champ Lake Forest last night (after deadline). The Huskies host another powerhouse in New Trier on Thursday at 5 p.m.