CALUMET CITY | Thornton Fractional and the entire crowd were waiting for the goal that never came.
The United seized the momentum throughout the second half but were never able to find the equalizing goal and fell 3-2 to Shepard in the Thornton Fractional Regional semi-finals. All the match's goals came in the first half, and the United dictated the pace of play while holding the ball in the Shepard end much of the second half. Monica and Andrea Munoz each scored one goal for the United, and senior Jamie Kats recorded the assist on Andrea Munoz's goal.
"We gave it our all," Kats said. "We didn't get the outcome we wanted and it's bitter. I wouldn't change anything about the game except a score, obviously."
Shepard started the scoring in the twelfth minute when Aubrey Quick scored on an Astros penalty kick. The United came back four minutes later to tie the game at 1-1when Monica Munoz drove through the Shepard defense to record an unassisted goal. In the next minute, the Astros retook the lead on a feed deep into United territory that Shepard was able to score on.
"I'm very proud of our girls and we have a great group of kids," United coach Alejandro Lagunas said. "Shepard is very athletic and they're a good team. I give them all the credit."
The Astros took a brief 3-1 lead midway through the first half, but the United scored less than a minute later to pull to within one. It would prove the final goal of the match as the team's played to a stalemate for the next 40 minutes. Lagunas noted that it is quite often that goals are recorded within seconds of the previous goal, something that happened twice in the match.
"It happens quite a bit," Lagunas said. "Basically they scored one and you go up the field immediately. You kind of get the other team off guard and you put one in."