Oak Park and River Forest field hockey's first time hosting a large regular season tournament went off without a hitch, except for maybe the Huskies having to settle for second place after a 2-1 loss suffered at the hands of Assumption High School, a team from Louisville, Ky., in the title game on Saturday.
The Huskies ransacked the breezy competition in the first round, winning four games straight before facing Assumption, a team OPRF head coach Barb Liles said she would like her squad to mirror by the end of the season.
"They're the team I want us to be at the end. In no means did we play bad, but [Assumption] did a good job of controlling the ball and making smart passes," said Liles. "We are one small step behind them, but this tournament was a confidence builder for us."
The Huskies (13-3-1) held Assumption scoreless in the last 10 minutes of action, despite the absence of key player Tori Karsten. The center forward, who has been a vital part of the offense, collided with a player and left the game with a head and thigh injury in the second half. Liles said Karsten's status is day to day.
"[Tori being out] affected us greatly," said Liles. "We still played well, but it was tough to get any kind of offense going at that point."
OPRF goalkeeper Kelsey Rosenquist notched four shutouts during the weekend tournament.
"Kelsey stepped up and aggressively played the ball as an attacking defender the entire weekend," said Liles of her junior goaltender. "She played great."
The Huskies edged Sacred Heart, another team from Kentucky, 1-0 in the playoffs to advance to the title game. They resume regular season play this week at home against Stevenson (Thursday, 5 p.m.), before traveling to Lake Forest on Saturday (10 a.m.).