STREAMWOOD — They say no hands in soccer but Crystal Lake South’s Jenna Ross scored a goal with her hands in a 3-1 win over South Elgin on Tuesday.
Ross scored two goals, including one on a throw-in from the sideline, in the Class 3A Streamwood Regional semifinal victory. The Gators advance to play Elgin — which beat Dundee-Crown 3-2 in the second semifinal — in the regional final at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Streamwood.
Ross took a throw-in from the right side of the box with about eight minutes to play in the first half. She aimed for the mass of Gators standing in front of the net.
With the help of a hefty backwind, Ross threw the ball past her teammates, through the hands of South Elgin goalkeeper Corinne Figueiredo and into the net.
By rule, a goal “may not be scored directly from a throw-in.” But because the ball grazed the goalkeeper’s fingers, the goal counted.
“I just thought, ‘I’m going to throw it as far as I can,'” Ross said. “The goalie missed it. It was lucky."
Tuesday was the second time this season Ross scored a goal in that manner.
“She’s the only one I know that can throw it that far,” Gators coach Jay Mueller said. “That’s not exactly the way you draw it up, but we’ll take it. It had a big impact on the game.”
The goal put the No. 1-seeded Gators (17-1-1) up 2-0 after Ross scored earlier in the half on a free kick about 40 yards from the net. As with her throw-in goal, Ross used the wind to her advantage.
“I knew I had the wind behind my back and the goalie was trying to arrange everyone,” Ross said.
She didn’t give the defense time to prepare before she sent it hurtling into the net.
South Elgin controlled the possession and tempo better in the second half, with Arielle Walters scoring a goal 10 minutes into the period. In the game’s final minutes, South’s Courtney Sengstock broke past two defenders and scored to put the game out of reach.
“I feel like we were struggling a little bit (in the second half),” Sengstock said. “We changed formations. We stepped it up in the last 15 minutes.”
The Gators played without one of their top forwards, Jess Schoenfeldt, who is out with an undisclosed injury. They hope to have her back Friday.
In Tuesday’s other semifinal, Elgin scored the first three goals before Dundee-Crown (9-10-0) added two in the final eight minutes.
“A little too late,” Chargers coach Sebastian Falinski said. “The intensity picked up.”
D-C’s Braylin Mensik scored with 7:01 remaining off a corner kick from teammate Taylor Coffman.
The Chargers’ Samantha Christensen added another goal with 4:32 to play. A late-game comeback seemed possible.
The Charger had one more look when Anna Kieltyka beat a defender and had no one to beat but the keeper. Elgin goalie Hannah Erickson dove and gobbled the ball up before Kieltyka could fire a shot.
“If that intensity is there the whole game, it’s a different ballgame,” Falinski said. “It’s just a tough loss to swallow because I thought we did a lot of good things.”
Crystal Lake South, Sr., F
Sengstock scored the Gators’ third goal, putting the game out of reach in the final minutes.
2:38: Time between Dundee-Crown’s two goals late in Tuesday’s loss to Elgin.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Crystal Lake South will try to make it back-to-back regional titles with a win on Friday.
Crystal Lake South 3, South Elgin 1
Crystal Lake South 2 1 — 3
Elgin 0 1 — 1
CLS — Ross, 11:17.
CLS — Ross, 8:02.
SE — Walters, 30:19.
CLS — Co. Sengstock, 2:47.
Goalkeeper saves — Sevcik (CLS) 2, Figueiredo (SE) 5.
Elgin 3, Dundee-Crown 2
Elgin 1 2 — 3
Dundee-Crown 0 2 — 2
E — Graves, 21:44.
E — Downing, 19:22.
E — Acuna, 14:25.
D-C — Mensik (Coffman), 7:01.
D-C — Christensen, 4:32.
Goalkeeper saves — Santillan-Ceja (D-C) 6, Erickson (E) 5.