By ANDRES MARTINEZ
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
The Quincy High School girls soccer team had its opportunities.
The woodwork had other intentions.
The Blue Devils hit the post twice Thursday night and failed to score for the first time this season, suffering a 1-0 loss to Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Flinn Stadium.
"We did a lot of really good things. We created a lot of chances," QHS coach Travis Dinkheller said. "Sacred Heart does a really good job. They took advantage of a mistake that we made."
A back-and-forth first half changed in the 36th minute when SHG's Rachel Treat gave the Cyclones a 1-0 edge.
Quincy goalkeeper Alex Boyd charged after a loose ball outside the box, but Treat beat her to the ball and poked it past Boyd and into the open net for the game's only goal.
The deficit didn't deter QHS (4-1).
About 10 seconds after the goal, the Blue Devils' Madison Cowman forced Cyclones keeper Morgan Dunbar to make a stellar save.
"We all still kept a positive attitude after (the goal). It was just misfortune," Quincy senior defender Taylor Eisenberg said. "(Dinkheller) told us it was one of the best halves we played. It was just unlucky."
So was the start of the second half.
Just 30 seconds out of the locker room, Quincy's Haylee McNay ran onto a ball down the right wing and crossed the ball into the penalty area. Dunbar mishandled the cross and had it clang off the post before the SHG keeper was able to cover it.
"We're at our best when were moving quickly," said Dinkheller, whose team will play at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against Rock Island. "I think in the first half we did (the little things) well."
The Cyclones put Boyd to the test in the third minute of the second half, forcing her to make a one-handed save before QHS defender Stephanie Venvertloh cleared the ball. Yet, the Cyclones continued to apply pressure, leading to Kaitlin Tate's shot from just inside the 18-yard mark.
The shot hit the crossbar and bounced out.
It was a little bit of luck for a team that was feeling unlucky.
"Two times (hitting the post), usually that doesn't happen, and usually one of them goes in," Dinkheller said.
The Blue Devils put together one final charger as junior Kaleigh Kuhlman broke loose down the wing with about four minutes to play, but her shot was wide of the net.