METRO GIRLS SOCCER: Sunset 2, Glencoe 1

The visiting Sunset Apollos built a 2-0 second half lead on senior night and Glencoe and were playing with a man advantage for nearly the entire second half, but had to hold on tight for a 2-1 win over the Crimson Tide at Hare Field Monday.

Senior defender Sonja Hwang sneaked a free kick through traffic and into the right side netting from about 20 yards out to give the Apollos a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the contest. The Crimson Tide, missing a couple of starters, also started several seniors after a long ceremony to begin the contest.

The Apollos put three shots on goal and held Glencoe without a shot on goal over the first 40 minutes. Sunset opened the second half with a free kick opportunity that was saved by Glencoe senior goalkeeper Alex Moore, her third save of the match. Disaster struck for the Tide moments later when Moore got tangled up with an Apollos player in the box, drawing a foul. Following a physical confrontation after the whistle, Moore was assessed a red card and disqualified, leaving the Crimson Tide a player short for the remainder of the match.

Senior forward Ally Thom converted the resulting penalty kick against Glencoe’s backup goalkeeper Sarah Mauk, giving the Apollos a 2-0 lead in the 47th minute.

Undaunted, the Tide would trade shots on goal with the Apollos until Glencoe’s Claire Graves had a breakaway opportunity, drawing Sunset goalkeeper Bridgette Skiba out to make a spectacular sliding save, taking the ball off Graves foot just before she could get a shot away. Grave sent a shot over the bar in the 73rd minute and moments later, Tide star midfielder Celeste Molina-Sanchez sent a diagonal free kick to the left post where sophomore Rylee Fitzsimmons bounced a header into the back of the net to make it 2-1. About a minute later, Molina-Sanchez was setting up another free kick from almost the same spot on the other side of the field. This time, a solid shot just cleared the crossbar toward the upper right corner and ended up in the top netting, drawing gasps from the crowd.

That would be Glencoe’s final shot as Sunset held on for the victory. The Apollos moved to 6-1 in league play, a game back of first place Jesuit with a game to play. The Crusaders annihilated Century 10-0, their second straight victory of ten goals or more. Jesuit must visit Glencoe Thursday night to nail down the Metro title by itself. The game is at 53rd St. Park at 7 p.m. Sunset plays host to Aloha at 7:30 p.m. the same night.