6-11 Hononegah soccer

The Hononegah girls soccer team poses after winning the IHSA Class 3A regional title. Back row: Teva Crandall, Eva Eiss, Indigo Sterud, Amy Gorsch, Geneva Hann, Audrey Cassata, Olivia Repka, Kaylee Goldhagen, Brynn Gunderson, Caelyn McIlwain Front row: Molly Hughes, Isabel Henry, Hailey Henry, Mika Menon, Paige Taborski, Sami Dinnel, Adri Fiorini, Bree Culver, Lauren Wedig, Payton Kelly.

ROCKTON—The Hononegah girls soccer team wants to make a little history Friday night.

The Indians are looking to qualify for the IHSA Class 3A state tournament for the first time in school history when they travel to Barrington for a 6 p.m. sectional final.

A win advances Hononegah into a super-sectional game on Tuesday against the winner of the Bartlett Sectional. St. Charles East and St. Charles North square off Friday in that final. The super-sectional will be played Tuesday at 6 p.m., back at Barrington.

Hononegah coach Jay Bigwood said his team has been well-balanced.

“We have had a good combination this year,” Bigwood said. “Within our conference, our defense has been very strong. But with all due respect to our opponents, we haven’t had a lot of competition. So when we did what we did to Cary-Grove, especially on their home field, really showed how solid we were there.”

The Indians’ 1-0 victory was highlighted by the play of the defense, with a late stop by goaltender Paige Taborski.

“It was interesting because Paige had a pretty laid-back game for the most part. She had 12 saves but most of them were just rolling to her. Our back four played fantastic,” Bigwood said. “And then with a couple minutes left, she made a save on a ball that was right in her stomach. It was one thing for her to make the save, another for her to hang on to it.

“It was a totally unbelievable save, but at the same time, I totally believed it because I’ve watched Paige all season. For her to play soccer after everything she has going with hockey, I knew right when she made the decision to play her senior year we’d have a great chance of being a good team.”

Taborski is also an elite hockey goalie who will play for a strong Northeastern University program beginning in the fall. Taborski is a captain along with Adri Fiorini, Eva Eiss, Lauren Wedig, Teva Crandall and Amy Gorsch.

The 15-1 Indians’ only loss of the season was 1-0 to Freeport.

The Indians will take on a Barrington team with a strong tradition.

“We know they have a great program,” Bigwood said. “And to win, we will have to play our best game of the year. But against the better teams, we have stepped up and played our best all year.”

The Indians have been led all season by a strong group of seniors.

“From our open gym practices in the winter on, the seniors have done a fantastic job leading this group,” Bigwood said. “We started on the front foot and have never stepped backwards. We had a couple players really take the lead there not only on the field, but off it as well. It’s been a huge part of our success.”

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