SYCAMORE – The opportunities had certainly been there, coming from a variety of angles, but each – whether sailing too high or just wide – had missed the mark.
But eventually, Sycamore girls soccer coach Dave Lichamer knew, one would finally connect. And once it did, he knew the Spartans would take care of the rest.
So when Amy Schroeder placed a perfect crossing pass and found Alyssa Maillefer positioned in prime scoring position, the break Sycamore had been waiting for finally arrrived.
Maillefer’s goal with 17:57 remaining lifted the Spartans to a 1-0 victory over Crystal Lake Central in Wednesday’s Class 2A Sycamore Regional semifinal and into Friday’s championship match against top-seeded Burlington Central.
“It felt really good – we had been trying really hard and knew we just needed one goal to advance on,” Maillefer said. “We knew we just had to stay aggressive and that it would come eventually.”
Sycamore (8-11-2) protected the one-goal lead the the rest of the way, never allowing the Tigers to produce any quality chances. Now the Spartans set their sights on a championship.
“Regionals is something that never gets old,” Lichamer said.
Kaneland rolls: Kaneland cruised past IMSA, 8-0, in the Class 2A Rochelle Regional semifinal. The Knights will play Rosary in the regional final on Friday.
St. Charles East edges DeKalb: A late rally wasn’t enough as St. Charles East defeated DeKalb, 7-6, in a nonconference game.
Morgan Newport was 3 for 4 with a home run and a double, driving in three runs and scoring twice. She also pitched six innings and allowed only one earned run while striking out six.
Sabrina Killeen was 3 for 4 with an RBI and a double while Tayler Garland went 2 for 3 with a double.
Barbs fall: Burlington Central defeated DeKalb, 10-2, in a nonconference game at DeKalb.
TUESDAY’S LATE RESULTS
Hawks advance: Hiawatha beat Durand, 6-4, in the Class A Durand Regional semifinals on Tuesday.
Abby Turner pitched six innings and struck out eight batters in the win.
Dani Clark went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and three RBIs and Haley Zubberbear went 2 for 3. Lauren Watson also had two hits.
“We played a great defensive game,” Hiawatha coach David Tamraz said.
Cogs fall: Genoa-Kingston lost to Rock Falls, 5-4, in a nonconference game.
The Cogs led, 4-1, but were done in by errors in the final two innings. Danielle Engel was 2 for 4 on the day and came in to pitch in the third inning, giving up zero earned runs.
Natalie Klein was 1 for 2 with a walk and Paige Keegan had a double for the Cogs (15-6).
DeKalb defeats Sterling: DeKalb defeated Sterling, 3-2, at Sterling. DeKalb’s Matt Kulma won at No. 1 singles, and DeKalb’s Phil Henrickson won at No. 2 singles.
Charles White and Nick Seldal combined to win at No. 2 doubles.
• Jeff Arnold contributed to this report.