by Mike Slodki
A productive Kaneland soccer season launched the girls into their first ever regional championship match on Friday night.
Unfortunately, at the home of the Burlington Central Rockets, thatâ€™s where the launch ended.
Dealing with top-seeded Crystal Lake Central, the Lady Knights dropped a 3-0 result in a physical contest.
The loss, coming after a high-intensity 1-0 win over Hampshire last Tuesday, ended the Lady Knightsâ€™ 2009 campaign at an above-average 11-9-3.
Thatâ€™s the best winning percentage in team history, eclipsing a 2005 squad that went 11-10-1.
That team, also coached by Scott Parillo, defeated Hinckley-Big Rock in a class A opening round matchup before losing to Wauconda in Hampshire.
The Tigers drew first blood with a shot over goalkeeper Sophie Blankâ€™s head in just 6 minutes, 40 seconds into the match for a 1-0 lead.
The two teams stalemated until a header found its way in just 1:31 before halftime to make it a 2-0 margin.
Crystal Lake Centralâ€™s final score came with 36:52 left in the contest.
Parillo lauded the girlsâ€™ season despite the less-than-ideal end result.
â€œWe really did well,â€ Parillo said. â€œWe had freshmen and sophomores starting at different points. Weâ€™re young and this is going to leave a bad taste in their mouths. Crystal Lake Central did everything they needed to do to win, but this is the first time to a final for us and it was a good experience.â€
Kaneland says goodbye to five seniors: Savanna Castillo, Brittany Chase, Bridget Crosby, Danni Garcia and Sarah Goodrich.
â€œWe had pretty good leadership. Three were captains and itâ€™s a shame to lose them, they were all good kids,â€ Parillo said.