Fenwick, Peterson beat Hinsdale Central in penalty kicks
SUMMIT — After stopping everything that Hinsdale Central sent his way through 100 minutes, Fenwick keeper Jacob Peterson said he felt confident heading into penalties.
With the Class 3A Argo Sectional championship on the line, the Friars senior deflected two more attempts while his teammates made three of four tries.
As a result of its 3-1 edge in penalties, Fenwick edged the Red Devils 1-0 on Friday to capture its first sectional championship since 2001.
The Friars (16-6-1), who’ve won seven straight and gone 11-0-1 in their last 12 matches, advanced to Tuesday’s Benedictine University Super-Sectional.
“After beating Lyons Township in penalties (in the regional final), it gave me confidence,” Peterson said. “I knew that my guys would put them away, so all I had to do was save one. And if I saved two, I had total faith that we’d get it.
“I can’t thank my coach (Robert Watson) enough for pushing us the last few weeks. These guys have battled and we’ve gone to overtime twice. We’re really excited to be playing in the 3A super-sectional for the first time in Fenwick history.”
After Peterson stopped the first attempt by the Red Devils (18-4-3), Jack Alberts converted to give the Friars the advantage.
Following an exchange of goals by Hinsdale’s Ryan Schwarz and Fenwick’s Dylan Kramer, the Friars’ keeper punched away another effort.
Mitchell Meyer made a stop for the Red Devils, who missed their fourth try. Carlos Soto ended the drama when he made the next attempt.
“We’ve got a great group of seniors and we’re well-rounded with a 22-man roster,” Watson said. “This was a team effort, it’s not just the goalkeeper, even though he’s a phenomenal player and stands out at times. We fight and we never quit.”
After a defensive opening half, the Red Devils started to apply regular pressure on Peterson in the final half and two overtimes.
But Hinsdale Central, which had gone 12-0-1 in its last 13 matches, also had some bad luck, hitting a post in the initial extra session.
“Fenwick gets a lot of credit for what they did tonight,” Red Devils coach Mike Wiggins said. “I thought they were highly effective and didn’t back down. And their keeper played the way that we expected him to and he did a good job.
“You hate to see a game end in penalties. But I thought we created enough opportunities to keep the ball out of the hands of the goalkeeper. We were highly effective in a lot of different areas but the game can be cruel sometimes.”