Marian Catholic and Bishop McNamara came into Friday each looking for its first East Suburban Catholic win.
Neither team got it, but both took plenty of positives away from a 1-1 tie in Chicago Heights.
Erin Reilly scored for the Fightin’ Irish before Marian freshman Jenna Ryczek came up with the equalizer 7:34 left in regulation.
“It was an even game and I think the result was satisfactory for both teams,” Marian coach Nasser Shahtaji said. “We had a lot of chances throughout the game and we just didn’t finish. Luckily, our freshman was in the right place at the right time and got the goal to tie it.”
The Spartans (7-8-2, 0-3-1) drew even when Elisabeth Melone fired a laser of a shot that Bishop Mac goalie Jackie Poortinga was able to punch away with a sliding save. Ryczek, though, came up with the rebound and put it away.
“Liz shot it and their goalie dropped it and I just finished it,” Ryczek said. “We were all getting frustrated that we weren’t scoring but we put up a good fight and got the tie.”
Marian came close to winning it in the closing seconds of overtime, but Adriana Garcia sent a shot just high.
The Fightin’ Irish (4-6-2, 0-3-1) held off a relentless early attack from the Spartans then went ahead in the opening minutes of the second half.
Taylor Arsenau carried the ball to the corner and crossed it to Reilly, who slipped down the middle of the box and finished with a shot inside the left post with 35:17 to go.
“It was a good through ball and I saw where their goalie was and just took a touch and then passed it in,” Reilly said.
Marian spent virtually the entire first 25 minutes on the attack, but came up empty. Bishop Mac got something going late in the first half and carried momentum into the second half.
“We’re a bit shorthanded and there was a bit of a feeling out process,” Bishop Mac coach Chuck Goranson said. “Once we established ourselves, we played well. I thought we did a good job limiting their best player (Hailey Losselyong). She had a lot of shots, but they were from far out and we have a goalie that can vacuum those up.”
Poortinga made 15 saves.