Fenwick High School senior girls soccer goalie Audrey Hinrichs had twice been part of teams that came one victory from reaching the state finals.
When Hinrichs dove to her left and stopped De La Salle’s final penalty kick May 31, she clinched the Friars’ 1-0 victory on penalty kicks at the IHSA Class 2A Brooks Supersectional and their first trip to the four-team state finals since 2013.
“It’s just an amazing feeling and I knew our team could do it,” said Hinrichs, also a volleyball and basketball player. “There’s something special about this team and I know we’re going to make a good run in state. I love it.”
Fenwick (13-6-2) plays in the IHSA Class 2A state semifinals against Triad High School, located near St. Louis, at 11 a.m. on June 3 at North Central College in Naperville. The third-place game is June 4 at 11 a.m. followed by the state championship at 1 p.m.
Hinrichs and seniors Kate Henige, Emily Ortiz and Abbie Rogowski are team captains. Hinrichs, Henige and Ortiz were members of the 2019 team that lost to eventual Class 2A state champion Benet Academy in the supersectional. This winter, Hinrichs was part Fenwick’s girls basketball team that lost in the 3A supersectionals to Nazareth.
“Honestly, it’s amazing [to advance], especially senior year,” Henige said. “It’s all you could ask for.”
The Friars won the supersectional penalty shootout 4-2 after playing 100 scoreless minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods.
Fenwick shot first in penalty kicks. Sophomore Caroline Henige, senior Julia Cianci, freshman Kiera Mullarkey and sophomore Gabi Kapusta all converted.
De La Salle’s second attempt went over the goal. After Hinrichs’ save, the fifth round wasn’t necessary.
“We’re keeping the zero back there [on defense] because we trust Audrey to take the PKs. She’s a beast back there,” said defender Rogowski. “Back there (on defense), my adrenaline is rushing. Can’t let a goal go through. As long as I can do that, I trust Audrey from there on.”
Fenwick posted its 11th shutout this season, including four in its last five outings.
“It feels amazing all of our hard work is paying off to be here,” said defender Ortiz. “The pressure was very intimidating at first, but our coaches really encouraged us to keep calm, find an open player and with our team, we were able to accomplish it.”
The Friars generally controlled play, but the Meteors (21-4) put up an admirable fight in a groundbreaking postseason that started with their first regional title.
In overtime, Fenwick had perhaps the best scoring chance when Mullarkey broke free and was fouled near the left side of the penalty area. Instead of a penalty kick, the Friars were awarded a free kick and sophomore Caroline Henige’s shot went over the upper left corner of the goal.
In the 2021 postseason, Hinrichs also came through in penalty kicks for a victory over Hinsdale Central. But, on May 31, Hinrichs was a different goalie than the one in 2019 who experienced the 4-0 loss to Benet.
“It’s so weird to be back as a senior and how different my confidence level is and how different I feel out there,” Hinrichs said. “I’ve been here before. I know I can do it. I had the confidence going into it.”