SOCCER: Lehnert’s late goal gives Dragons regional title
GRANT PARK — After a narrow defeat that decided the Twin Valley Conference earlier this season, Grant Park exacted revenge on its conference rival, as the Dragons held Momence off for a 3-2 victory in the IHSA Class 1A Grant Park Regional Championship on Friday.
“It was great,” Dragons coach Jacqlyn West said. “The boys just came in and did what we practiced yesterday and what we’ve been practicing all season.”
The Dragons struck first, when senior forward Logan Weissgerber beat a Momence defender to a beautifully placed through ball from Jon Goldenstern 10 minutes into the game. The Dragons took just four minutes to add a second goal, when Goldenstern booted a free kick in from just outside the box.
After about 50 minutes of scoreless action, Momence put up a pair of goals just minutes apart in the second half. Jared Espino got Momence on the board midway through the half, and Jose Ramirez tied it up just a handful of minutes later.
But the Dragons were determined, and four minutes later, they regained the lead, this time for good. Hayden Lehnert got ahold of his own rebound and put it in the back of the net to put the Dragons up by the eventual final of 3-2. Each of the Dragons’ three goals were scored by seniors, which West found fitting for a group she will exit with after the season.
“We have five seniors, and I’ve watched them grow since they were 5 and 6 [years old],” West said. “I have senioritis, too, as this is my last year coaching, so it’s good to go out on a high note.”
The Dragons play in the Class 1A Reed-Custer sectional Wednesday, when they will take on the winner of Saturday’s Chicago Christian regional between Chicago Christian and Peotone.