CHICAGO HEIGHTS | When Lincoln-Way North midfielder Jessica Bean drove a shot past Marian Catholic goalkeeper Sarah Sieracki less than five minutes into the play of Friday's Class 2A Marian Catholic Regional championship match, it was only a hint of what was in store for the Spartans.
The Phoenix, the top-seed of the Lincoln-Way North Sectional, thoroughly dominated the first half of play and rolled to a 7-1 victory.
The Spartans close out their season with a 6-14-2 record, while the Phoenix (16-7-1) advance to face either Plainfield East in the semifinals of the Lincoln-Way North Sectional at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"We were hoping we could stay close with them, but they were too much," Spartans coach Nasser Shahtaji said. "(Phoenix midfielder Rita Craven) is an excellent player; they were all quality goals, no matter who we had on her."
Craven scored three goals and added two assists Friday, while Bean scored three more goals to capitalize on a suffocating Phoenix midfield that held the Spartans without a shot on goal in the first half and only five shots on goal, total.
By halftime, the Phoenix led 5-0. Bean scored her final goal of the match early in the second half, which knocked back any hopes the Spartans had of a second-half recovery.
"All week, we've been practcing all week to come out strong, so it was nice to see them do that and put three goals in pretty quickly," Phoenix coach Michael Murphy said. "That allows you to rest a few players, not go quite as hard, and let's be honest -- Rita and Bean put on a show today."
The Spartans lone goal came with 13 minutes to play in the match when Christina Franzese chipped a centering pass to Mary Ann Crosetto, who backed up a defender, pivoted and got her shot from 15 yards out past Phoenix goalkeeper Michelle Balcerzak.