Tag Archives: soccer

Girls Soccer: Benet’s Season Ends in PKs; St. Francis Earns 1st State Trip

Both teams line up for starting lineup introductions before Tuesday’s game.

Benet held its opponents scoreless the first 285 minutes of the playoffs. 15 more minutes and the Redwings would have clinched a spot in 2A state semifinals.

The Redwings outscored their opponents 24-0 in their first three games, and held a 1-0 lead over St. Francis more than halfway through Tuesday’s 2A supersectional game played at Benedictine University.

But with 15:02 left in the second half, Spartans forward Amanda Gaggioli broke through the Redwing defense, scoring a goal to tie the game at 1-1. The game went to penalty kicks after the score remained tied through the duration of regulation and four ten-minute overtime periods. There, St. Francis outscored Benet 4-2 to earn a berth in the state semifinals.

“We’re not the best penalty kick team in the history of mankind,” Benet coach Bob Gros said. “We’ve worked on it. I’ve tried everything under the sun. But there’s so much psychology involved. There’s a little bit of luck too.”

Sydney Fox’s successful penalty kick sent St. Francis (22-3) to its first ever appearance in the state semifinals. Taylor Bucaro, Kaitlin Bucaro and Gaggioli also made penalty kicks for the Spartans.

“It feels great, it really does. I feel like this isn’t really real right now, but it’s great,” said Gaggioli

The Redwings dominated possession in the first half and outshot the Spartans 10-4 over the first 40 minutes. With 8:54 left in the first half, Jessica Smetana scored after receiving a great pass from Amanda Kaiser. The senior’s shot went off the far post and into the back of the net, putting the Redwings up 1-0.

The momentum shifted in the second half. The Spartans started to play more aggressively and dominated possession of the ball. With just over 15 minutes left in the second half, St. Francis snapped Benet’s 285 minute playoff scoreless streak when Gaggioli scored from 10 yards out after receiving a feed from Kaitlin Bucaro.

“I just saw the pass coming in, and my teammate (Fox) just let it go through her legs. I was open and just put it in,” Gaggioli said.

Worn down by temperatures in the mid-80s, both teams had trouble generating anything in the four overtime periods. St. Francis outshot Benet 5-2 over the last 40 minutes, and the Redwings didn’t get off a shot attempt over the last two overtimes.

Despite being outshot, Gros felt the Redwings had the better chances in overtime.

“In terms of more consistent pressure, I think in the last 40 minutes we had a little bit of an advantage there,” Gros said. “We just couldn’t get it in. You just have one of those days, and it doesn’t pay off.”

Benet finishes the season 18-5-3. The Redwings came into Tuesday’s game unbeaten in their previous 17 games.

St. Francis will play St. Viator at 11 a.m. Friday in the first of two 2A semifinals at North Central College in Naperville. Glenwood will face U. High of Normal in the second semifinal.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Naperville Sun and yourseason.com. It appears here.

St. Francis players celebrate with their friends and family after the game.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Portfolio Pieces, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Naperville North Knocks Off Wheaton South For Regional Title

Naperville North warms up before Friday’s regional final in Bolingbrook.

There are no easy games for teams placed in the murderers’ row that is the Naperville North 3A girls soccer sectional.

On Friday, Naperville North claimed the Bolingbrook regional title after it held off a second half rally from Wheaton Warrenville South.

Abby Mangefrida, Zoe Swift and Abbie Boswell each scored for the Huskies in their 3-1 victory.

“You know that you’re going to have a dogfight every game from here on out,” North coach Steve Goletz said. “That’s what makes it fun for us, you know you’re getting a great game every time. They’re going to be exciting games, and that’s all you can ask for.”

The Huskies will face Neuqua Valley next Wednesday at home in a sectional semifinal.

North broke through for two goals in a span of two minutes midway through the first half in Friday’s game.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead 21 minutes into the game when Mangefrida’s shot from 20 yards out deflected off a Tiger defender and past goalie Abbey Fuster.

Two minutes later, a perfect feed from junior midfielder Jill Van Kampen set up a goal by Swift that put the Huskies up 2-0.

“It was perfect, Jill gave me a great ball through, and I just ran to to it,” Swift said. “She did most of the work, I just finished it.”

Wheaton South’s Alexis Jakuszewski cut the Tigers deficit in half 17 minutes after halftime. The freshman defender’s lob floated over the outstretched arms of Huskies goalie Allison Hitchcock and into the back of the net, making the score 2-1.

The Tigers had a couple chances to tie the game, but couldn’t break through. The Huskies started to breath easier with a minute left in the game after Boswell scored off a pass from junior midfielder Cora Climo to put North up 3-1.

North had a bit of a scare late in the second half when Swift went down after a collision with two Tiger defenders. Swift left the game after laying on the field for a couple minutes during an injury timeout.

However, the Huskies’ star forward returned to action seven minutes later, and after the game, Swift said she suffered a nasty scratch to her shin.

“I’m OK, it’ll be fine,” Swift said.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Naperville Sun and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Kellett Nets Hat Trick As Rosary Moves On To Regional Final

Rosary walks off the field after its 8-0 victory over Hubbard on Tuesday.

Rosary hadn’t played in nearly two weeks, but the Royals looked anything but rusty when they took the field Tuesday in a 2A regional semifinal against Hubbard.

Quincy Kellett had a hat trick and Kallie Renfus added two goals and two assists as Rosary rolled into Saturday’s regional final with an 8-0 victory over Hubbard.

“It was really nice to get back in a game situation,” Renfus said. “We had some time off and we got to focus on some things we wanted to bring to the regionals.”

Less than nine minutes into the game, midfielder Elizabeth Kelley took a feed from Kellett and drilled a shot past Hubbard goalie Karina Arenas to put the Royals up 1-0.

Rosary then scored three goals in two minutes to take a commanding 4-0 lead 15 minutes into the first half.  Kellett scored two of those goals, while the other came from Renfus.

The lightning-quick Kellett, just a freshman, showed once again why she is so valuable for the Royals.

“She makes things happen after you think she’s lost the ball,” Rosary coach Kristy Kane said. “That talent and her speed make her great for our team, she’s been such a great addition this year.”

Rosary (16-5) took a 5-0 lead into halftime after midfielder Julia Callahan scored from five yards out with eight minutes left in the half.

Kellett, Renfus and Callahan each added a goal in the second half as Rosary broke out to a 8-0 lead.

The Royals dominated possession all game and outshot the Greyhounds 33-2.

Rosary keeper Lauren Frasca made two saves as she collected her 12th shutout of the year. Arenas made 14 saves for Hubbard.

Rosary will host the winner of Wednesday’s regional semifinal game between IMSA and Phillips on Saturday at 11 a.m..

After sitting out for nearly two weeks, Kane is happy that her team will be back on the field in just four days.

“I’m feeling good. Even with the long break we’re still doing things well that we were doing well before the break,” Kane said. “I’m looking forward to another game because it’s been too long of a break.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Gianna Dal Pozzo Scores Three Goals In Two Minutes As Neuqua Valley Tops Geneva

The teams take the field before Thursday’s Naperville Invitational quarterfinal.

Neuqua Valley junior Gianna Dal Pozzo scored three goals in just over two minutes of second half action as the Wildcats defeated Geneva 4-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinal of the Naperville Invitational.

The Wildcats move on to face undefeated Naperville North tomorrow night at Naperville Central in a semifinal of the Naperville Invitational.

It took Dal Pozzo just 2:07 to tally her first-career hat-trick and for the Wildcats to take complete control of the game played at Naperville Central.

“It was the greatest feeling ever,” said Dal Pozzo. “We had a lot of chances in the game. I just knew we had to finish them to get ahead, and that’s what I did.”

With the Wilcats trailing 2-1, Dal Pozzo took a pass from sophomore forward Olivia Schmitt and scored from 10 yards out to tie the game at 2-2 with 26:42 remaining in the second half.

Just 38 seconds later, Dal Pozzo gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead with a header after receiving a perfect corner entry from junior midfielder Hope D’Addario.

“We’ve been working on corners a lot and executing them, and Hope just played a great ball,” said Dal Pozzo. “I saw it coming over the defender so I was backing up and just came right through it and put it on the far post.”

The junior forward capped off her two minute scoring binge with another goal assisted on by Schmitt. Dal Pozzo fired a laser from 10 yards out to put the Wildcats up 4-2 with 24:35 remaining in the second half.

Dal Pozzo’s hat-trick was the Wildcats’ third straight, as Neuqua Valley forward Zoey Goralski scored three goals in back-to-back games coming into Thursday.

Goralski scored the Wildcats’ first goal of Thursday’s game just two minutes into the second half. The junior tied the game at 1-1 when she unleashed a shot from the far right corner of the field that went through the fingertips of Geneva keeper Marissa Schroyer and into the back of the net.

Neuqua Valley (13-3-2) and Geneva (11-3-4) played to a 1-1 tie in Geneva on Apr. 12. Wildcats coach Joe Moreau credited his team’s quick, aggressive style of play for the change in result.

“We were attacking the ball. That’s what we’ve been talking about, attacking and firing shots in the box,” said Moreau. “Geneva is a very fast team, and we were just trying to make them chase. When we hung on to the ball, we got in trouble.”

Geneva senior Catherine Allon scored both of the Vikings’ goals. Allon’s first goal came off a pass from junior Amanda Lulek late in the first half, and the Vikings went into halftime up 1-0 despite being out-shot 14-6 in the first half.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Xavier-bound senior rocketed a shot that caromed off the top goal post and into the net, giving the Vikings a 2-1 lead.

“We worked hard. I can’t fault their effort, we just checked out in a panic for three minutes and it killed us, but you learn from it,” said Geneva head coach Megan Owens. “We lost our focus for three minutes and that’s what the top teams like Neuqua are going to do to you.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon, Naperville Sun and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Portfolio Pieces, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Jessica Saffell Scores Only Goal As West Aurora Tops Kaneland 1-0

On a cold, blustery night perfect for indoor soccer, West Aurora and Kaneland took to the outdoors for a game on Thursday evening with the host Blackhawks grabbing a 1-0 victory.

Blackhawks forward Jessica Saffell scored the game’s only goal off an assist from midfielder Karla Torres with 4:42 left in the first half.

“I was surprised the pass from Karla got through, so I just took advantage of the opportunity,” said Saffell. “I just caught the goalie stepping out and not covering her post.”

West Aurora (3-4) dominated possession in the first half, out-shooting the Knights 9-1 in the game’s first 45 minutes. However, the Blackhawks had nothing to show for their effort until Saffell’s strike hit the back of the net late in the half.

“It was huge getting that goal right before the end of the half so we could go into the second half knowing that we had that one goal up,” said Saffell.

West Aurora keeper Gabbie Hansem made four saves on her way to picking up a shutout. Hansem had to do most of her work in the final 15 minutes of the second half as the Knights made a late charge.

“Our defense played very calm, which was good because the last four minutes of the game was just them pushing,” said West Aurora coach Laura Wagley. “We just stayed relaxed and played our game.”

Saffell had two excellent opportunities early in the second half to extend the Blackhawks’ lead, but Kaneland keeper Jordan Ginther made two diving saves within 35 seconds of each other to keep the score 1-0. Ginther made nine saves in the game.

Wagley said she wasn’t surprised with the low scoring game.

“We knew they had a great keeper, so we knew it was going to be a great, close game,” said Wagley. “I told the girls before the game that we have to possess and take advantage of our opportunities, and we did.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Quincy Kellett Scores 4 Goals As Rosary Records 5th Shutout Of The Season

Rosary forward Quincy Kellett scored four goals in the Royals’ 8-0 victory over visiting Yorkville on Wednesday, but all the freshman could talk about was her team’s defense and its fifth shutout of the season.

“It all starts with our defense, they’ve been playing really well lately,” said Kellett, who has scored seven goals this season. “Our defense was a big help in all of our goals today.”

Goalie Lauren Frasca recorded her fifth clean sheet in as many games. The Royals dominated possession of the ball and Yorkville only got off one shot in the game. Frasca’s lone save came with just 15 seconds left in the second half.

“We want to make it so that Frasca doesn’t have to touch the ball,” said Rosary coach Kristy Kane. “We have such strong defense and we play with the ball primarily on the other team’s end. Our defense is just really smart and doesn’t take chances.”

The Royals have yet to give up a goal this season, outscoring their opponents 16-0 over five games.

“My defense has been working so well, all the way from the new freshmen to the returning seniors,” said Frasca. “We connect so well on the back and we’ve just been so clean.”

Midfielder Molly Piech scored the Royals’ first goal eight minutes into the first half unassisted from ten yards out. The junior added another goal and an assist in the second half.

“Molly is playing much better as she goes on. She’s growing and her game is changing, and that’s awesome to see,” said Kane.

A perfect pass from midfielder Megan Fitzpatrick set up Kellett’s first goal of the game with five minutes left in the first half.

Rosary led 2-0 at halftime, and then broke through for six goals in the second half. Kellett and Piech accounted for six of the Royals’ eight goals while Alexandra Bode and Elizabeth Kelley each scored one goal for Rosary.

Frasca said the Royals were able to control the game with their smooth and accurate passing.

“We were passing it around very well. We just had a great flow from the defense to the midfield to the forwards,” said Frasca. “I thought we kept possession really well and made it easy on ourselves.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Girls Soccer: Geneva Recovers From Slow Start, Defeats West Aurora 6-0

Geneva midfielders Catherine Allon and Michaela Loebel each scored a pair of goals as the Vikings defeated West Aurora 6-0 in Aurora on Saturday afternoon.

Despite Geneva (4-0) dominating possession of the ball, West Aurora (1-3) was able to stand their ground for most of the first half. The Vikings were held scoreless until Allon tallied the game’s first goal with three minutes remaining in the first half. The senior scored from five yards out off a perfect corner feed from defender Caitrin Griffin.

The Vikings went into halftime with a 1-0 lead and, most importantly, momentum.

“I knew we needed to get at least one goal before the half ended, just to give us a strong heads up going into the second half,” said Allon. “We knew we dominated most of the first half, we just struggled putting it away.”

The Vikings had no problem putting the ball away in the second half. Allon scored her second goal of the game less than five minutes after halftime, sparking a five goal second half for Geneva.

“I think it was good that we got that first goal before halftime, it kind of opened the flood gates,” said Geneva head coach Megan Owens.

“I think we played better in the second half as a result of that goal. In the first half we were looking to pass off and set up the perfect shot. But in the second half, the girls just wanted to get after it.”

Loebel scored the next two goals for the Vikings. With 33 minutes remaining in the second half, Loebel dribbled through two defenders and shot the ball past Blackhawks goalie Sam O’Brien from 10 yards out.

Eight minutes later, Loebel scored from five yards out to put the Vikings up 4-0 with 25 minutes remaining in the game.

Courtney Lardas and Molly Axen scored the final two goals for Geneva.

“We connected very well today, we found feet,” said Owens. “Kids were making really good runs off the ball, and they were communicating really well. They were doing all the little things right.”

West Aurora played well on defense early in the game despite facing constant pressure from the attacking Vikings offense. However, the Blackhawks just ran out of gas in the second half.

“We were tired and beat up in the second half,” said West Aurora head coach Laura Wagley. “In the first half, we did great and we stuck with them. Then in the second half, we were just way too tired for them.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports