CHICAGO HEIGHTS | For Kristin Spratt and her Homewood-Flossmoor teammates, it was just nice to get out on the field and get the soccer season started after a long, hard winter.
Spratt scored the lone goal of Tuesday's game to help the Vikings top Marian Catholic 1-0 in the opening round of Reavis High School's Windy City Ram Classic. Lauren Hurley recorded the assist on the Spratt goal.
"This was our first time playing outside on the turf with some real competition," Spratt said. "This was just a whole new experience for us. It's exciting just to play."
Spratt's goal came with 35 seconds remaining in the first half and came off of a Hurley corner kick. Hurley send the kick in front of the near post where Spratt put a head on it to give the Vikings the 1-0 lead.
"We've been working on a lot of corners," Hurley said. "I knew there was a few seconds left, and I knew she would get up for a head, so I tried to put it up as best I could."
Homewood-Flossmoor (1-0) was able to control much of the pace throughout the match, but the Marian Catholic defense kept the score at 1-0. Marian keeper Sarah Sieracki finished the match with six saves. The Spartans had a good look with five minutes remaining, but a Hailey Losselyong direct kick from just outside the left side of the box bounced off the crossbar.
"In the first half, we were kind of lost and not clicking," Marian coach Nasser Shahtaji said. "In the first game, first half, that's very normal and natural. I was happy about the second half. We created some chances, and Hailey's shot was a good shot, just unlucky."
With the win, the Vikings will move on to face Oak Forest (1-0), which defeated Thornwood 4-3 in overtime in an opening-round game. Oak Forest scored 51 seconds into the second overtime and was able to hold on. Nataly Porras, Maribel Salgado and Stephany Leon each scored for the Thunderbirds (0-1).
Homewood-Flossmoor will play Oak Forest at 6 p.m. Thursday at Marian Catholic, while the Spartans will face Thornwood at 4:30 in the consolation bracket.
"I'm going to be looking for positioning," Vikings coach Jim Boswell said. "There's some things we saw today that we'll be able to work on in practice. It's still very early in the season."