Junior Maggie Avery was a hero Friday in more ways than one as the Ramblers earned a 2-1 win in penalty kicks over Maine South in the Class 3A regional final at Loyola.
Not only did she star in goal, making one save during penalty kicks, she delivered the game-winning goal on Loyola’s fifth shot. It was the Ramblers’ 10th win in a row and ninth consecutive regional championship.
“When it was her turn, she came right up and buried it,” Loyola head coach Craig Snower said.
The No. 3-seeded Ramblers (17-6) will play No. 2 Evanston in the sectional semifinals Tuesday at Glenbrook North.
Snower said he decided to have Avery practice penalty kicks this week, in case the Ramblers ever got into that situation.
“We were looking for a fifth shooter, and she looked good taking them,” Snower said. “It worked out.”
Sophomore Emily Chrisman and junior Cate Shellenback converted the other two penalty kicks.
Loyola trailed 1-0 at the half, and the score remained the same until junior Stephanie Ramsay tied it up with a goal at the 6:30 mark of the second half.
Loyola and Maine South then played two scoreless overtime periods before starting penalty kicks.
“They were all over us in the first, and we really had to fight to get back into it,” Snower said.