Girls Soccer: New Trier’s Mulford buries winner to upset Loyola in 3 OT
Penalty kicks can be a cruel way to end a game.
Golden goal comes in at a close second.
In the 103rd minute in the third overtime of a hotly contested sectional final, sophomore striker Maddie Mulford snuck a shot past Loyola’s (24-1-1) backup keeper to give New Trier (20-2-1) the 1-0 win.
“This is one of a few times in a long time that we are the definite underdog coming in,” said New Trier head coach Jim Burnside. “We were the underdog and I thought our girls stepped up beyond belief in the last 103 minutes.”
The victory marked the third time in the last four years that the Trevians ousted the Ramblers in the sectional championship.
Both team’s defenses proved their talent by allowing limited shots on goal.
Loyola dealt with the losses of keeper Brittany San Roman and midfielder Tori Iatarola, who both went down with leg injuries.
The injury in net forced an inexperienced Lauren Smith to enter the match, and the backup made some great saves, including one in the first overtime.
In the end, the Ramblers did not test senior keeper Emma Schaff. The previously unbeaten squad’s best scoring opportunities did not find their way on frame.
The Trevians had their share of chances to end the game earlier, but scoring on them may have been as difficult as robbing a bank.
“Against Loyola, you have to find a way to crack a safe and when you’re sitting there with police coming down your back, it’s hard the first time,” said Burnside. “It takes a little bit of time to figure out what to do and how to do it.”
In the 52nd and 90th minutes, senior midfielder Rachel Shellenback and freshman midfielder Jessica Ritchie each had headers denied.
But it was Mulford in overtime who became a nuisance to the Ramblers’ back line and eventually found the back of the net after Smith charged out.
“I really had to dig deep,” said Mulford. “I pulled into my reservoir of energy and it really helped me. I wanted it so bad and I knew it might have been the last chance I got. I knew I had to finish it.”
Next up for New Trier is the Fremd supersectional, where it will face Glenbrook South, a 2-1 winner over Buffalo Grove, at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a state berth.