CALUMET CITY | This wasn't the way anyone wanted to see Tuesday's match between Thornton Fractional and Lemont end.
The South Suburban Blue rivals battled for first place in the conference and the outcome was left to a controversial goal. With the match tied 2-2 late in the first half, Lemont was given credit for its third goal on a ball that did not appear to go in the net, but instead hit the side of the net. Lemont was given the goal and the match ended with the same 3-2 score.
"I'll watch the video tonight (Tuesday) but I guess it really doesn't matter," Thornton Fractional coach Alejandro Lagunas said. "It was a good game. I think our girls played well. Lemont's a great team. We'll build from this and get ready for our game (Wednesday)."
The loss ended a 10-game winning streak for Thornton Fractional (14-3, 7-2) and ended any real hope of T.F. United winning the conference title.
Jamie Kats started the scoring in the match to give the United an early 1-0 lead. Lemont then answered with a goal of its own before Andrea Munoz scored with eight minutes remaining in the first half to give the United the lead once again. Jocelynn Gil recorded the assist on the Munoz goal.
"We just need to train harder and be better prepared for what happened," Munoz said. "Maybe not let the ball slip so then they won't call another goal."
After the Munoz goal, Lemont scored once again to tie the match at two. The stage was then set for the game-winning goal and the controversy that followed. Thornton Fractional United was unable to finish its second half scoring chances and both teams played to a draw in the second half. United keeper Bianca Ruiz had seven saves for Thornton Fractional and kept the United within striking distance, but the team was unable to come up with the equalizing goal.
"If it was in or if it wasn't in it doesn't really matter," Kats said. "The call is a call even if it was a bad call. We've just got to come back from that anyway."