Even before the Fenwick High School girls soccer season, starting senior central defender Abbie Rogowski called it.
“At the pre-season meeting, they were like, ‘What do you want out of the season?’” Rogowski said. “[I said], ‘We’re going to state.’ And we did it.”
The Friars indeed made their first state trip since 2013 and finished fourth in IHSA Class 2A. They lost to Deerfield 3-0 on June 4 at North Central College after losing to back-to-back state champion Triad High School 3-1 in overtime in the semifinals on June 3.
The Friars (13-8-2) allowed just one goal in five playoff games to reach state. At the Brooks Supersectional, they beat De La Salle on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie.
Fenwick actually led Triad (25-1) and was tied 0-0 at halftime against Deerfield.
“Freshman year coming in, it’s always been a dream for us to go to state,” starting senior outside defender Emily Ortiz said. “Although it was a big dream, we made it far. It’s amazing that we were able to show that we can make it this far.”
Fenwick graduates 11 seniors, including captains Kate Henige, Audrey Hinrichs, Ortiz and Rogowski. Henige, Hinrichs and Ortiz were four-year varsity players.
“I think we [seniors] set the standard really high for our team. I hope that they continue to build upon what we’ve built, and I think they will,” Hinrichs said.
“That’s where it starts, with our awesome captain leadership with high expectations,” Fenwick coach Craig Blazer said. “It’s a culture of winning and working hard for each other.”
The Friars reached perhaps their highest level against Triad. The underdogs were outshot 32-5 yet led 1-0 after sophomore Grace Kapsch headed in an Ortiz corner kick with 8:48 left before halftime.
“Every single time that [Ortiz] kicks the ball, everyone somehow gets a head or foot on it. It was just perfectly placed. I jumped up and got it,” Kapsch said. “It was really, really important to get ahead. It gave us the adrenaline we needed to carry it on in the second half.”
Triad tied the game with 29:51 left in regulation. In the second of two 10-minute overtimes, Triad took the lead on a 30-yard blast into the upper right corner.
“It was definitely exhausting and the mental toughness to keep going even though you’re getting shot at a lot, but we tried,” Rogowski said. “We pushed through and brought Triad to overtime.”
Great defense (11 shutouts this season) and Hinrichs’ spectacular goaltending kept the Friars battling.
Hinrichs made 22 saves over the two state games.
“[Triad is] a tough team. Obviously, things don’t work out always as you want them to, but we gave it our all,” Hinrichs said. “I love being busy in the net. As tough as the game was, that’s what I’m there to do. And I’m always going to give it my all and I think I did that.”
Deerfield (23-4-2) led 19-1 in shots after the teams tied 2-2 on March 31. Nearly everyone played, but Rogowski’s sophomore sister, Maddie, a starting center midfielder, was injured during the supersectional.
Henige played her last game with sophomore sister Caroline. Kate (19 goals, 7 assists) and Caroline (12 goals) were Fenwick’s leading scorers.
“We’ve done [soccer] since we were little so it was very fun,” Henige said. “I would just say [to underclassmen] you’ve got to be there, show up to practice, put the work in and anything’s kind of possible. If you try your best, hopefully it’ll pay off in the end.”