PALOS HEIGHTS | With a team stocked full of juniors, the future of Beecher soccer looks promising.
On Saturday, though, the Bobcats were forced to wait one more season to take that promise to the next level.
The Bobcats fell 5-1 to the the host Knights in the 1A Chicago Christian Regional championship.
Josh Cialdella scored the lone Beecher goal.
"I don't think we played bad," Beecher coach Dawn Compton said. "A couple balls didn't bounce our way; a couple calls didn't go our way, and that kind of set the tone for us."
Chicago Christian broke a 0-0 tie midway through the first half when Sean O'Meara found the back of the net. The Knights (11-9-3) then added a second goal just eight minutes later to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
"I think if we could have got things going a little sooner on offense, that would have made a difference for us," Compton said. "But, that's the way the game goes."
The Bobcats came out with more intensity in the second half but were unable to convert on their chances early in the half.
The Knights were able to continue to convert their chances, and Chicago Christian built a 4-0 lead midway through the second half. Cialdella was able to finally put the Bobcats on the board with 15:19 remaining, but the damage had been done. Marshall Landis recorded the assist on Cialdella goal.
Beecher (14-10-2) was able to reach a regional final this season, and Compton felt the team has taken a step in the right direction.
"I'm proud that we were able to get that monkey off our back and get to a regional championship game," she said. "Looking to next year, we have a lot of talent coming back, and I hope we can get here again next year and get a little bit further."
Junior Jackson Strick played a key role in the Bobcats' success in 2013, and he lamented the loss of this year's senior class.
"I'm going to miss these seniors," he said. "I love our guys, and we've been playing soccer since we were 3 (years old). We just have to put this behind us and look forward to next season. We'll definitely have the talent and the skill, we just need the pride and determination to take that next step."