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Regional championship remains elusive : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Regional championship remains elusive
Oswego scores late to force overtime, falls to top-seeded Metea Valley

by Mike Slodki


It seemed the Oswego girls' soccer team could potentially have put one over on No. 3 Metea Valley in the finals of the Class 3A Metea Valley Regional on Friday night.

As it stood, the Mustangs were the ones that would rise above all.

With two goals put through in the second iteration of the slated overtime periods, the Mustangs eliminated the Oswego outfit, 3-1.

"When you get into overtime, you're just looking for a chance," Oswego head coach Brian Falli said. "They got a corner and they took advantage. In overtime, it's all about surviving."

The Panthers earned the berth in the Aurora spectacle by virtue of a 2-0 win over rival Oswego East (6-12-1) back on May 21. That particular match was postponed 24 hours due to inclement weather in the immediate area.

Metea Valley was set to battle Plainfield North in the Naperville North Sectional semifinal scheduled for a Wednesday night kick. The winner would face either Waubonsie Valley or Naperville North in the championship slated for Friday.

Tyler Proszowski was able to strike quickly for the host Mustangs against the No. 6 Panthers during a bout with traffic near the goalie box, and gave Metea Valley a 1-0 advantage just 56 seconds into the contest.

Metea Valley was able to control possession and cut off the field for a good portion of the first half of play, leaving senior Amy Annala to block and deflect shots. Saves with 27 and 20 minutes left in the first half earned applause from the Aurora bleachers.

Oswego then had to deal with a match-ending injury to senior defender Lisa Dano after she collided with an opponent near midfield with 8:32 left in the first half. Annala held down the fort and made a kick save with 12 minutes remaining in the first half of play.

The Panthers finally struck after being able to hang around in the second half, when Illinois-Springfield-bound senior Kaylan Mills' 30-yard rocket deflected off Metea Valley's goalkeeper into the net with 10:02 remaining in regulation.

That would mark the closest the lower seed would get to scoring, and Annala's save of a tough shot with seven minutes remaining helped secure the overtime opportunity.

The overtime session, divided into two 10-minute sections, saw a shot attempt by senior Krissy Klingbeil with eight minutes left in the first overtime. The first 10 minutes ended with no opportunities converted going into session two.

Annala made a save a minute in, but the floodgates opened soon after, as Proszowski put a ball in off a corner kick attempt with 7:50 remaining in overtime. Mills' shot a minute later went over the net, and Nikki Hernandez' cross kick evaded an outstretched Annala with 5:26 left to effectively ice it.

"Metea is a tough team. There is a reason they're ranked No. 8 in the state. Kudos to them, they kept us in check," Falli said.

Against the Wolves, it was junior Kelsey Kraft with two goals, while Annala had five saves in the win.

Oswego says goodbye to seniors Ami Zacker, Dano, Kaitlyn Ferone, Klingbeil, Mills and Annala. Oswego East bids farewell to Rene Neissner and Kasey Bruns.

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