Girls Soccer notes: Emily Petring, Downers Grove South win third straight West Suburban Gold title

Downers Grove South's Emily Petring (13) controls the ball during soccer match between Downers Grove North at Downers Grove South.  May 6, 2023.

Downers Grove South senior forward Emily Petring added another milestone to her illustrious career on Tuesday night.

Led by Petring and sophomore sensation Skylar Swanson, Downers Grove South squeezed out a 1-0 win at Morton to capture the West Suburban Conference Gold Division title.

Swanson scored the winning goal in the 75th minute to lead the visitors to their third straight conference title. Overall, Downers Grove South has won 25 straight conference games, dating back to a 1-0 defeat at Morton on May 6, 2019.

Petring, a Coastal Carolina recruit, called it a hard-earned victory for Downers Grove South (14-3-1, 6-0).

”It was definitely a big game for us and we knew it was huge to win,” Petring said. “We’re working toward the playoffs. That’s what we’re looking forward to right now. I just tried to play my game and play as a team.

Downers Grove South, the No. 4 seed in the Class 3A Reavis Sectional, is on a 9-0-1 run after losing to Oak Park-River Forest on April 13. Petring is leading the charge with a team-high 28 goals to go with five assists. Petring has scored 68 goals in her three seasons playing on the varsity but would definitely have a few more if not for a missed season due to the coronavirus pandemic. She currently ranks fifth in program history in career goals.

“It’s been a journey,” Petring said. “My team helps me a lot and gives me so much confidence and helps me play. It’s crazy that my career went by so quick, but I grew and wanted to do well. I’m not ready to leave this team. Obviously, they are family but I have a good next four years ahead of me. I’m looking forward to that.”

“I’m just trying to keep making my mark. I want to keep playing as long as I can with this team and hopefully get to 30 goals.”

Downers Grove South coach Chris Hernandez said Petring, a three-sport star who shined in volleyball and basketball and was named the school’s 2022-23 Female Athlete of the Year, is a standout player who understands the team concepts.

“She’s had an awesome career,” Hernandez said. “With her older sister also coming through this program, we saw Emily in junior high, just hanging around and coming to games. For her to take part in the last three years and averaging 25-goal contributions for the last three years is special. The numbers are great, but we’ve talked to Emily that legacies are more than just numbers. She’s somebody who gets it.

“She’s about her teammates and passing on advice and pulls that aside and offers advice.

“That’s the legacy part, and the part that people will remember. Goals and everything are wonderful carrots at the end, but for her to understand the bigger picture is great.”

Morton backup goalie stepping up

Morton senior goalie Cindy Jiminez didn’t shy away from the spotlight. Before a large home crowd and with the conference title at stake, the backup goalie collected five saves, including a highlight-reel stop with just under eight minutes left in regulation. Downers Grove South scored the winning goal with 5:07 left in a 1-0 win.

Still, Jimenez showed a lot of moxie stepping in between the pipes with starter Yaritza Padilla in concussion protocol. Downers Grove South’s Petring and Swanson were all over the field, looking for opportunities to score. The Mustangs, the No. 8 seed in the Reavis Sectional, also open up the 3A playoffs taking on Willowbrook on May 17. The winner will most likely face No. 2 seed York on May 19.

“Cindy Jimenez was spectacular,” Morton coach Jim Bageanis said. “She made a great save on a corner kick in the first half and saved a goal on a reaction save late in the second half. She had a solid night. Our backline played great.”

Morton junior forward Carisma Rosales, a Marquette recruit with dynamic skills and quick feet, leads the team with 23 goals and 12 assists. Junior forward Aaliyah Leanos has 17 goals and nine assists.

“We have to play better but we know we can do well in the playoffs,” Rosales said. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs.”


St. Francis (9-4, 8-0) defeated Riverside-Brookfield 1-0 on Tuesday night to move into first place in the Metro Suburban Blue….Lyons beat Glenbard West 6-0 on Tuesday to close out the regular season. The Lions (18-1-1, 6-0) won the West Suburban Conference Silver Division for the fifth straight season.