Red Devils can't slow down Mustangs in second half
By Curt Herron
Things couldn't have started much better for Hinsdale Central when it met Downers Grove South in the opener of the Mustangs' Invite at Lincoln-Way Central.
The defending state champion Red Devils grabbed the early advantage less than nine minutes into the match and still owned a 1-0 lead at halftime.
But the tide started turning against Central almost from the start of the final half and South had evened things less than nine minutes after the break.
South moved ahead for good just after the midpoint of the new half and added a late insurance goal to rally for a 3-1 victory in New Lenox on Tuesday.
Although it was moving into a slight wind during the initial 40 minutes, South still managed to hold the shot advantage over the Red Devils.
The Mustangs (3-1) had the first two good chances but Keri Kujawa was wide on an attempt and Lauren Rusk lined a shot over the net.
Central (2-1) made the most of its first good scoring opportunity to grab the early 1-0 advantage just 8:25 into the match.
Mallory Feinstein got the play started when she sent a free kick toward the net which was cleared toward Abby Morrison, who headed the ball in.
Click to hear Hinsdale Central coach Skip Begley interview
There weren't that many good chances during the next 15 minutes of play but things picked up down the stretch, especially from the Mustangs.
Following an exchange of bouncing shots by Drea Issleib and Cara Doogan, South closed the first half with some good chances in the final 10 minutes.
Brittany Dietz had a shot on goal to keeper Nicole D'Agostino and Katie Moosmann was just wide on an attempt prior to a final flurry in the final minute.
Flo Beshiri forced a corner and Megan Martin fired it toward the net where it was cleared for another corner kick, which D'Agostino punched away.
Click to hear Downers Grove South coach Barry Jacobson
The Mustangs had several other good scoring chances during the opening eight minutes of the second half but came up empty-handed.
Beshiri was stopped on a short shot by D'Agostino, who later hauled in bouncers that were sent toward her by Jessica Bronke and Doogan.
Things finally clicked for South with 31:38 remaining in the match after three Mustangs paired up in a nice combination to even the score.
Doogan started the sequence with a pass to Kujawa and then the ball was directed to Beshiri, who put in a short shot to make it a 1-1 match.
Click to hear Downers Grove South's Jess Pikul interview
After D'Agostino halted shot tries from Doogan and Bronke, the Red Devils mounted their biggest threat of the second half.
With 20:50 left, Issleib sent in a free kick that forced keeper Amanda Meyers to come out of the net in order to punch the ball away.
The loose ball briefly bounced around in front of the Mustangs goal before it was eventually cleared away, but the drama wasn't over.
Midway through the half, Allison Roberson fired in another free kick and the subsequent loose ball was also knocked out of harm's way.
The Mustangs moved quickly downfield after that and Kujawa managed to get off a short shot, which D'Agostino halted with a diving stop.
It wasn't long before the Mustangs were applying more pressure and that attack less than a minute later proved to be decisive.
That's when a loose ball bounced out to Bronke, who placed a shot into the opposite side of the net to make it 2-1 with 18:52 remaining.
South had three more good scoring chances over the next 15 minutes but Martin and Doogan were stopped on liners and Doogan sent a shot over the net.
The Mustangs picked up an insurance score with 3:31 left when Sarrah Ludwig connected on a short attempt which was set up on a pass from Caitie Adams.
Click to hear Downers Grove South's Jacquelyn Thate interview
Tournament play resumes on Thursday with Central meeting Neuqua Valley at Doerhoefer Park while South meets Lincoln-Way Central at Benedictine.
Neuqua pulled out a 2-1 victory over the host Knights in Tuesday's first match of the Downers Grove South Invite, which concludes on Saturday.