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Game story:  Hinsdale Central gets first – and last – word in win over Oswego East

By Matt Le Cren, 03/31/24, 1:00AM CDT


Red Devils post 4-1 home win over Wolves in ranked nonconference match

HINSDALE -– The tables were turned on Oswego East.

Hinsdale Central’s Olivia Healy made sure of that.

The junior forward scored her first goal of the season with 15 seconds left in the first half to break a scoreless tie Saturday at Dickinson Field.

The cliché that scoring late in the opening period can shift momentum held true once again, and not in a good way for Oswego East. One week after the Wolves, who are ranked 24th in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25, used a goal with 4.1 seconds left in the first half to propel themselves to a 2-0 win over Batavia, they were on the other end of the axiom.

Healy’s strike was just the beginning as the No. 20 Red Devils seized control and went on to win 4-1.

“Scoring before halftime really brought us the energy to get more goals in the second half and brought up our confidence against a really hard opponent,” Healy said.

Oswego East (4-3-0) and Red Devils (4-1-0) played evenly during the first half, though the visitors had the better of the chances. Anya Gulbrandsen got around the left side of the defense and fired a shot that struck the inside of the right post and caromed back across the crease in the 10th minute. Red Devils defender Adriana Giannini cleared it.

Six minutes later, Riley Gumm ripped a 25-yard shot that rattled the left post. The San Diego State commit later sent a shot from the top of the box just over the crossbar.

Gulbrandsen and Gumm are a handful for any team and were unlucky not to find the back of the net in the first half. Gulbrandsen finally did in the 72nd minute. when she settled a high-arcing pass from Catie Sloan and scored on a short shot.

But that only cut the deficit to 3-1.

“I really think that they hit hard on our two best players at the top, and I think that they really shut us down in the second half. That’s exactly what a good team should do,” Oswego East goalkeeper Maddie McGregor said. “I give them a lot of credit.

“They were definitely stronger and fast. It’s a hard loss, but I do have to give them credit. They are a really good team.”

McGregor is a really good keeper who made six saves. Those included a pair of tremendous efforts in which she fully extended to parry shots from Piper Bingham and Cate McDonnell around the post in the second half.

But she didn’t stand much of a chance on Healy’s goal, which came off a perfect setup from Emily DiTomasso. Healy got in behind the defense and met DiTomasso’s serve from the right wing with a top-shelf volley for a 1-0 lead. The teams had each taken six first half shots before that.

“It was a team effort,” Healy said. “I feel that anyone could have scored that goal, but it took a lot of hard work to get a goal in the first half. It was very challenging.”

The score was exactly what Hinsdale Central coach Tony Madonia was looking for.

“We talk a lot about going all in at the end of the half and wanting it,” Madonia said. “There’s a lot of soccer to be played.

“She finished her run all the way to the end line and was rewarded by it. That’s exactly what you want as a coach.”

The late score was the focus of both teams’ coaches during intermission.

“We talked to the girls about that,” Oswego East coach Juan Leal said. “Obviously, momentum is a  big thing for any team.

“I told the girls at halftime, ‘Look, these girls are going to come into the second half working. We’ve got to make sure we’re playing tough.’

“They just came out and outworked us in the second half. They had better creativity. They moved the ball and organized themselves very well defensively. Obviously once you start triple-teaming Riley and Anya, it leaves a lot of players open for us, but we just weren’t connecting today.”

However, Hinsdale Central was. Though the shots remained nearly even, the Red Devils took control of the action.

Following McGregor’s great stop on McDonnell, the hosts converted the ensuing short corner kick. Doherty scored from in-front off Avery Edgewater’s feed from the left endline with 32:12 to go.

The Red Devils made it 3-0 at the 26:15 mark. Claire Snodgrass sent a long ball from the right side of the midfield into the cement mixer in front of the net. There, McDonnell emerged with the ball and fired home a short shot.

It was, players from both sides agreed, a result of Healy’s goal.

“I think it really brought up our energy, and that carried over into the second half,” Rohm said. “Straight off in the second half we were passing. We were connecting, and we were really bringing the energy.”

Moreso than Oswego East.

“It’s a hard goal to give up, for sure,” McGregor said. “It definitely killed our momentum.

“We should have kept going, hitting hard, and I think we did come out in the second half. They had a lot of opportunities, and we shut them down a little bit at the beginning.

“It is what it is. We just all need to stick together.”

That was the message Madonia preached to Hinsdale Central after the team lost 1-0 to Waubonsie Valley on March 19.

“We really felt like we should have gotten the result against them, so this was the game where we kind of needed to ramp things up,” Madonia said. “It’s our first game back after spring break. We’re playing against great coaches over there who are going to be playing a great style of soccer and will test us in every way they can, and they did.

“They had some chances that luckily didn’t go in, but that were very close. Our goalie (Emeline McClenahan) came up with some really big saves. We took advantage of more opportunities than we have in the past four games. We’re trending upward.”

Rohn put the exclamation point on the win by, in a sense. She teed up a 30-yard free kick and blasted it into the upper right corner of the net with 1 second left.

While the goal wasn’t as important as Healy’s and did not affect the outcome, it gave Rohn an extra boost.

“I knew right away that I had 10 seconds to take a shot, and I’m just like, ‘I’m going for it,’” Rohn said. “It doesn’t really matter because we already have a strong lead. But putting one more in was great.”

More could be in store for the Red Devils after their victory over a ranked opponent.

“I’m hoping the energy will carry over to our next game,” Rohn said. “We’ve got more tough opponents ahead, and we’ve just got to keep our teamwork up and be strong.”

So does Oswego East.

“If we had just capitalized on those first opportunities it would have been a different game,” Leal said. “It would have given us momentum and more confidence. But we’ll come back on Monday and get back at it.”

Starting lineups

Oswego East
GK: Maddie McGregor
D: Emma Klosterman
D: Morgan Dick
D: Alexandria Hoger
D: Jocelyn Cruz
M: Natalie Hamilton
M: Lana Bomstad
M: Catie Sloan
M: Riley Gumm
M: Ashley Gumm
F: Anya Gulbrandsen
Hinsdale Central
GK: Emeline McClenahan
D: Audrey McLaughlin
D: Claire Snodgrass
D: Addisyn Krogstie
D: Adriana Giannini
D: Ryann Knapp
M: Emily DiTomasso
M: Avery Edgewater
M: Piper Bingham
F: Caitlin Doherty
F: Chloe Anderson
Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Olivia Healy, jr., F, Hinsdale Central

Scoring summary

First half
Hinsdale Central: Olivia Healy (Emily DiTomasso) 40’
Second half
Hinsdale Central: Caitlin Doherty (Avery Edgewater) 49’
Hinsdale Central: Cate McDonnell (Claire Snodgrass) 54’
Oswego East: Anya Gulbrandsen (Catie Sloan) 72’
Hinsdale Central: Peyton Rohn (free kick) 80’