News and Announcements


Team Chicago Academy-Santos finished as runners-up in the U18 IYSA State Cup this past weekend after a heart-breaking 3-2 double overtime loss to Windy City Pride in the final.

Santos qualified for the final with a 3-1 victory over Chicago-Inter Homer Glen on Saturday. Kristen Brots opened the scoring in the 2nd minute from a great Heather Handwork cross. Hannah Rodgers got the eventual game-winner with 12 minutes left in the first half when she ran onto Gianna Marconi’s perfect through-ball. Chicago-Inter halved the lead with 15 minutes left to play in the game, but Sara Stevens put the game out of reach in the 90th minute.

Santos dominated the first half of the final both in terms of possession and chances. Kristen Brots hit the post early on, and several other chances went begging in the first half, so both teams were scoreless at the interval.

The second half became a very physical affair as Windy City stepped up its intensity. Santos got on the board first though, as AJ Jakuszewski found Katie Ciesiulka who in turn found Heather Handwork on top of the penalty box. Heather beat two defenders and the on-rushing GK give Santos the 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the 2nd half.

10 minutes later Santos doubled its lead when Talise Romain served a great corner-kick into the box, and Heather Handwork headed it towards the goal and Sara Stevens headed it over the line. Up 2-0 with 20 minutes left in the game Santos looked like it had the game under control.

However, Windy City proved the old saying “2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer” true when they battled back to tied the game at 2-2 in the final 10 minutes of the half. First off a corner-kick and then with a shot from outside the box in the 88th minute.

The two 15-minute overtime periods were even more physical and intense. Windy City did everything within its power to stop the Santos forwards. And 7 minutes into the first overtime Windy City got what proved to be the game-winner.

The Santos players threw everything at the Windy City defense and GK in the remaining 23 minutes, but unfortunately the tying goal never came. The Windy City GK made a couple of spectacular saves, and the referee was kind not to judge a couple of the fouls by Windy City last defenders more harshly. And the in the end Windy City emerged victorious after an impressive battle.

Santos will have one more chance to qualify for the US Youth Soccer Region II Championships in Dayton, OH next June. 4 games remain in the MRL Premier Division I and 4 wins will earn Santos the MRL berth into Regionals. First up is a game against Academy SC on Wednesday, 10/30 at 6:30pm at the Commissioner’s Park turf field.

Team Chicago Academy-Bahia continued its MRL Premier Division Qualification group play with a great result beating FC United 3-1.

FC United entered the game undefeated in group play with a very impressive stat sheet. In the opening ten minutes of the half Bahia was getting used to the turf field and then things started to come together. Bahia started the scoring halfway through the first half when Paige Miller found Zaira Solis outside the 18 yard box. Zaira cut the ball and beat one defender before releasing a great strike that beat the keeper high.

FC United fought back and within minutes scored on an own goal off of a corner kick. Bahia continued to possess the ball and it paid off when Molly Grant collected a ball just on the other side of midfield and used her tremendous speed to break away from the FC United backs and went in one on one with the keeper. Molly drilled the shot past the keeper which proved to be the game winner. With only a minute left in the first half, Bahia took a quick throw in on the right side that lead to Frankie Magno pressing the FC United back and winning the ball. Frankie battled with the defender and broke through in the box to bury her shot past the keeper.

A spirited defensive performance lead by Carolena Lund, Erin McCarthy, Lauren Douglas, Shannon Tagler and Abbie Brennan proved to be the difference in the second half and secured the result.

Up next for Bahia will be two MRL games October 26th & 27th located here in Chicago.

Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro secured its spot in the U14 MRL Premier Division I for the Spring 2014 with a win and a tie in St. Louis last weekend. Having opened its MRL campaign with 3 wins the previous weekend in the Twin Cities, Cruzeiro just needed a win on the weekend to secure a top-4 spot and a berth into the Premier Division.

On Saturday night Cruzeiro faced Lou Fusz in a very physical battle between the two top teams in the standings. Neglecting to take a decisive lead after some early chances, Cruzeiro found itself down 1-0 halfway through the second half. However, the girls stepped up the intensity and with 10 minutes to go Alyssa Bombacino equalized when she latched onto Kerry Abello’s perfect whipped ball on top of the 6-yard box. Jamie Goralski set up a perfect chance for a game-winner less than a minute later with her perfect cross, but unfortunately the shot went just wide and Cruzeiro had to settle for a tie.

On Sunday Cruzeiro faced AFA and strolled to a comfortable 5-0 win. Jamie Goralski got a hat-trick and Alyssa Bombacino recorded 4 assists in the game. Kerry Abello and Madison Zaleski also scored.

With the win Cruzeiro sits in first place with 2 games to go. A win against either Campton or Libertyville 1974 will be enough to claim the MRL Premier Qualification Division title. The team is 4-0-1 on the season with 12 goals for and a stingy 1 goal against. The strong defensive performances have been due to the play of goalkeepers Bailee Witt and Anna Aubuchon, as well as the back-line of Katie Wieland, Sofia Papoutsis, Sarah Avery, Emma Rydholm, and Kaitlyn Mauder and the holding-mids Jordan King, Erin Sweda, and Kennedy Metzger.


Team Chicago Academy-America won the Illinois FC “Little Illini” Tournament last weekend in Champaign.

America went 3-0-1, outscoring their opponents 14-1. In the final game
of their round robin group, America needed a victory and a shutout to
secure the championship. The team stepped up with a 3-0 win to bring home the trophy. Nine different players contributed to the scoring column, while earning three clean sheets.

This is the 2nd tournament championship this fall for America. While in Champaign, the girls had a team outing watching the University of Illinois women’s soccer team defeat Wisconsin 3-2 in
a Big Ten match-up.


Team Chicago Academy-Bahia competed in the Nike Cup this past weekend hosted by Sockers FC in Schaumburg, IL. In group play Bahia finished with three wins outscoring their opponents by a margin of 10-0.

The playing conditions were something new for the team and took some getting used to playing on a turf field that was 58 × 105 yards. The difference between the first game and the final was much improved with each game bringing some moments of great soccer. The group play ended with a well balanced attack seeing 9 different players in the scoring column.

After winning the group play Bahia advanced to the final to play SC Waukesha from Wisconsin who are also in the MRL Premier Qualification division with Bahia. The championship game ended with a 3-0 win for Bahia. Going into half time the score was 0-0 with Bahia having more of the possession overall and each team having a couple of opportunities.

The second half continued in the same direction, but Bahia was able to get on scoreboard with one of the best goals of the season. Katie Murphy received a ball from Molly Grant who was on the right side of the box and played the ball to Katie who was about 30 yards from goal. The ball bounced up and Katie hit a full volley that was perfectly executed with great technique and buried the shot past the keeper just below the bar. This set the tone for the balance of the game and Bahia generated two more goals off of corners. Paige Miller sent in two quality corners that were met by Zaira Solis and Molly Grant, respectively to add to the scoring.

Congratulations to the entire team for not allowing a goal throughout the tournament.