MINOOKA — For the past three years, the Minooka and Plainfield South soccer teams have played quite even. Three seasons ago, the Cougars came a way with a one-goal victory, but each of the last two years the Indians have recorded overtime wins.
On Tuesday at MCHS, the school honored the seniors on the Indians before they played in their final home match ever. Perhaps buoyed by the adulation associated with Senior Night, the locals recorded three goals — all by seniors — in putting away the Cougars by a 3-0 score.
"We played with a lot of confidence today," Minooka forward Jillian Hetfleisch said. "We were ready to go."
"They came ready to play today," Minooka coach Chris Brolley confirmed. "We've been battling through some things lately, but now we have everybody back and that's nice to see."
Hetfleisch scored the first two and Laura Simon the finisher as the Indians improved to 11-6 overall and 4-3 in Southwest Prairie Conference action.
Heitfleisch is a four-year varsity player, but on the other end of that, Simon is a first-year senior.
"It's my first year playing for Minooka but I wanted this win for the other seniors who have been with the program for the last four years," Simon said. "It's awesome that we did get the win."
Hetfleisch scored the first two goals — the first unassisted as she put in a rebound of her own shot on goal and the second off an assist from Hannah Rieker. The unassisted tally came in the seventh minute and the other in the 12th minute.
"She (Reiker) crossed it to me and I got it in," Hetfleisch said. "The pass came to me, I turned and finished."
"She's an amazing player," Brolley said. "One of the best ever."
Simon's goal, a boot from about 25 yards out, came in the 56th minute and came on an assist from Marisol Galvan.
"She (Galvan) made a nice crossing pass into open space. It was a perfect setup for me," Simon said. "Really it was Marisol that set everything up."
"Laura is unbelievable. Coming into her senior season, she wanted to be involved with a team sport, which is why she's here," Brolley said. "It turns out that she's one of the best marking backs we've ever had here in Minooka."
Keeper Mallory Schade made two saves in recording the shutout.
Laurel Hudson and Geraldine Torres are the other two seniors on the varsity this year.
Minooka will now play at the Joliet Central 3A Regional on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. against Joliet West.
"It's bittersweet. I'm excited to go on to play in college, but I love this team," Hetfleisch said after playing her last home game ever. "We've gotten so close."