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Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro U15 opened its IYSA State Cup championship defense with an impressive 7-0 win over Rockford Raptors.
The game was a re-match of their Spring U14 IYSA State Cup Round-Robin contest, which ended with a tight 2-0 win for Cruzeiro, but this time around Cruzeiro quickly took care of business jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first six minutes of play. Kerry Abello opened the show when she got on the end of Riley O’Brien’s cross from a great Sarah Avery run up the right flank. Less than a minute later Jamie Goralski found Kerry Abello on the left-wing and she played a perfect ball into Alyssa Bombacino’s run down the middle. Alyssa calmly found the foot of the far post. And two minutes later Alyssa got her second of the game when she met at perfect Jamie Goralski cross at the near post and flicked it over the GK.
The 2nd half started much like the 1st as Cruzeiro grabbed a couple of quick goals. Kerry Abello played a perfect ball over the top into Emma Rydholm’s overlapping run, and Emma whipped in a cross that Riley O’Brien met at the back post. Less than a minute later GK Bailee Witt drove a great 50 yard ball into Riley O’Brien’s run down the right flank, and she squared it to Jamie Goralski who took a perfect first touch and then slotted it home for the 5-0 lead.
Jordan King made it 6-0 after a short corner, and Kerry Abello made it 7-0 final after a mazy run and driven shot to the far post. Bailee Witt got the shutout in goal. Up next for Cruzeiro is its 2nd State Cup round-robin game on Sunday night against FC-1 Elite.
Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia continued its U16 MRL Premier I Division play this past weekend with two impressive victories in Grand Rapids, MI. Entering the weekend both opponents were undefeated and positioned at the top of the group.
On Saturday Brasilia faced TNT Dynamite and started off on a great note when Jasmine Ruiz nearly scored right off the kick-off. The GK was positioned well off her line and Jasmine took full advantage of her ability to strike a ball, just missing the upper 90. As the match continued Brasilia was in great form controlling the match and creating opportunities that finally paid off when Jasmine Ruiz played a great ball into Safia Hannin on the left side. Safia drove past two defenders going across the top of the box before slotting her ball to the lower left corner for a perfect finish. The second goal which proved to be the game winner started with Abby Severson playing a quick throw-in to Dominique Martinez. Dominique continued to switch the point of attack and found Abby Grzetic about 25 yards from goal. Abby made a great fist touch setting herself up before unleashing a perfect strike that found the upper 90. TNT scored against the run of play, but Brasilia was too strong and secured a deserved 2-1 win.
In Sunday’s game, Brasilia faced Alliance Academy who advanced to Nationals as the Region II champions this past summer. The game started off with possession primarily in the middle third of the field with each team searching for opportunities. Alliance opened the scoring in the first half to go up 1-0, but from there Brasilia turned it up a notch to go into the half up 3-1. The first goal came off a corner taken by Jasmine Ruiz that was driven near post. MaKenna Schoolman’s run to the near post opened up space, and she dummied the ball through for Emmerson Fuller to beat the keeper.
The game continued to be a great match going back and forth, but the second Brasilia goal proved to be a turning point in the match. The play started with a ball being played out wide on the left side to Jade Eriksen-Russo. Jade played a long diagonal ball into MaKenna Schoolman who was able to flick the ball into the run of a wide open Veda Tappin. Veda timed her run perfectly to stay onside and drove toward the goal to place her shot calmly past a keeper to the lower left corner. The final goal of the half came from Jasmine Ruiz winning the ball in the midfield and directing it to Alyssa Bombacino (Cruzeiro) who took care of the rest in providing the game-winner. Alyssa drove forward into space beating the back-line before placing her shot past the keeper.
Brasilia began the second half where it left off and continued to find openings in the opponents defensive third of the field. The final goal came when Maddie Lambert got the ball deep on the right flank. She cut inside and passed it to Alyssa Bombacino who found Jordan King (Cruzeiro) on top of the 18. Jordan was very composed on the ball and cut two players on the top of the box before beating the keeper to go up 4-1. However, the game was far from over with such a great opponent and they continued to fight back, but could only secure one more goal for the final 4-2 result. What a great way to end the weekend beating the Region II Champions. We would like to recognize the efforts of Madison Lockard, Nicole Mondi, Jade Eriksen-Russo, Emmerson Fuller, and Callie Vitro for defending as a unit against some very talented teams. Great job girls!
Team Chicago Academy-Internacional continued its impressive run of form with three more convincing MRL victories in Rockford this past weekend. Heading into the weekend with a 3-0-0 record Internacional faced Shattuck-St. Mary’s – an elite soccer boarding school in Minnesota in the Saturday morning game. While Shattuck was a very good soccer-playing side, it was not a match for Internacional and Quincy Kellett in particular. Quincy recorded a hat-trick in the opening 10 minutes of the contest to effectively secure the win for Internacional.
Inter opened with a spirited pressing game that Shattuck’s defenders really struggled with. Two of Quincy’s goals were almost carbon copies as Maddie Pokora found a streaking Keely Theobald in behind the Shattuck back-line, and she delivered a perfect pass for Quincy to find the back of the net. The third goal was all Quincy as she opportunistically chased down a soft back-pass and out-tackled the keeper followed by an easy tap-in. Inter created 3-4 other 100% chance before the interval, but could not convert.
The 2nd half was a lot more even, but with 12 minutes left Anna Tørsløv hit a shot from 25 yards out that beat the Shattuck keeper for the final score 4-0. Hannah Parrish got the shutout in goal.
In the 2nd game of the day Inter defeated previously undefeated Michigan Jaguars 5-1. Miranda Lambert opened the scoring 15 minutes in from Alena Sidwell and Maddie Pokora, and she doubled her tally 5 minutes later after a perfect give-and-go with Quincy Kellett at the top of the penalty box. MI Jags halved the Inter lead two minutes into the 2nd half, but then Kiley Czerwinski took over the game. First she scored off a corner combination with Anna Tørslev, then she beat 3 players before finding Grace Anderson who in turn found Alena Sidwell for the tap-in. And in the very last play of the game Kiley beat two defenders in driving to the goal, and finished perfectly with a hard, driven shot to the foot of the far post.
On Sunday Internacional had its best performance of the year in beating Missouri State Cup Champions Lou Fusz-Wipke 5-0. A very close 1st half ended on a positive note for Inter as Alena Sidwell notched the eventual game-winner with three minutes left in the half after Sarah Laws and Mallory Mollenhauer’s great work.
However, the 2nd half was a totally different story, as Inter finished off Lou Fusz with three goals in the opening 10 minutes. First Kiley Czerwinski drove towards the goal and was felled inside the box. Jori Romano stepped up and doubled the lead. The next goal was an absolute perfect “training ground” exercise come to fruition. Alena Sidwell played Kiley in behind on the wing, and Kiley took one big touch out in front, before she drove across the defender along the end-line and delivered a perfect ball to the top of the 6 for Alena to smash home. Kudos to Quincy Kellett and Miranda Lambert, too, as they made strong runs to the near and far posts to occupy the Lou Fusz defenders and keeper. Miranda Lambert then made it 4-0 and 5-0. First from Alena Sidwell and then on a header off a perfect, driven Kiley Czerwinski corner. Hannah Parrish got the shutout in goal and the back-line of Maddie Pokora, Jori Romano, Emily Dickens, and Tori Christiansen was stellar, too.
Internacional now needs two wins in its remaining three games to clinch the MRL Premier title. Up next are two games in Muscatine, Iowa on September 27th and 28th.
Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro also continued its winning ways in MRL Premier play with a 3-0 over Michigan Rush in Rockford. The goals took awhile to come, but when they did they came in quick succession in the final 18 minutes of the game. First Kerry Abello hammered the ball into the top-corner from 22 yards out, and then Jordan King drove a ball across the MI Rush goal for Kerry to finish at the back post. Finally, Jamie Goralski struck another perfect shot to the upper-90 for the final 3-0 score. Bailee Witt got the shutout in goal.
Next up for Cruzeiro is a State Cup game v. Rockford this Saturday at 1pm at PlayUSA, and the next MRL games are October 4th and 5th in Overland Park, Kansas.
Team Chicago Academy-Bahia continued its U14 MRL Premier II Division play. In their first match against Lou Fusz M. Elam (MO) on Saturday afternoon the game ended in a tie at 2-2. Early on in the first half Bahia scored a goal against the run of play to take a 1-0 lead going into the half. The play started with Natalie Massa collecting the ball in the midfield. Driving forward she played a ball into Emma Crosswait who played it back to Natalie who then played a great ball over the top for Emma to run on to and calmly finish. The second half was a different story, Bahia opened up with a great 20 minutes that resulted in the second goal but should have been four. The second goal looked just like the training ground and started with Jeff (Jennifer) Pochyly playing a ball into Emma Crosswait. Emma drove end-line to serve a perfect ball onto the running path of Sophia Majher who buried her chance past the keeper. Unfortunately Bahia could not hold on to their lead and gave up two late goals to earn a tie.
In Sunday’s game, Bahia faced J.B. Marine Rasch (MO) which was a rematch from the Spring when the teams played to a 1-1 draw. This time Bahia played well in all phases and came away with a convincing 5-0 win. The game winner came off a great ball played out of the back by Carolena Lund that sprung Emma Crosswait in behind the opponents defense. Emma collected the ball on the right side and drove to goal releasing a fantastic shot to the upper left corner where the GK had no chance. Emma continued to have an impact and played a ball back to Zaira Solis who collected the ball and buried her shot past the keeper for the second goal. The next two goals were credited to Paige Miller who scored by driving in from the right side. The first started with Allison Anderson switching the point of attack and finding Paige in the offensive third where she beat three players before unleashing her shot hitting the inside of the far post. The second was a defensive mishap that Paige opportunistically took advantage of by driving inside before placing her shot over the keeper. The final goal was scored with a nicely weighted ball played into Molly Grant from Zaira Solis. Molly finished her chance to round out the scoring and solidified a great match for Bahia.
Four Team Chicago Academy teams went to Rockford last weekend to begin their MRL journeys and finished with a combined 6-2-1 record.
Team Chicago Academy-Internacional finished the weekend with a perfect 3-0-0 record in the U18 MRL Premier II Division after beating Lou Fusz 4-1, Sporting Iowa 4-1, and Michigan Fire Jrs 3-1.
In the opening game on an extremely poor field, Internacional found itself down by 1-0 after 8 minutes, but the early goal proved to be the perfect wake-up call. For the remaining 82 minutes Inter controlled the proceedings in one of its best performances ever.
Jori Romano got subbed into the game in the 19th minute, and her very first action was to hammer home a perfectly struck free-kick from 25 yards into the upper-90 to tie the game. A few minutes later Miranda Lambert attacked the end-line and drove-in a great cross, which Keely Theobald dummied with perfection at the near-post and Alena Sidwell ran onto and finished for the eventual game-winner. With 12 minutes left in the first half Miranda stole the ball from a Lou Fusz defender, beat the last defender, and calmly slotted the ball home at the foot of the far post. Five minutes into the 2nd half Miranda got her second goal to finish off the game after Erin Johnston’s great through-ball found left back Tati Espinoza’s perfect run, and Tati squared it unselfishly to Miranda for the easy tap-in.
In the 2nd game Inter went down 1-0 against the run-of-play again, but Jori Romano quickly evened the score-line on a PK against Maddy Pokora, and Keely Theobald got the game-winner before the half. In the 2nd half Keely made it 3-1 before Quincy Kellett made it 4-1 final score.
The final Inter game was won pretty easily by a 3-1 score-line. Miranda Lambert scored first off Erin Johnston’s assist, and Keely Theobald and Quincy Kellett got the other two goals to cap off the perfect MRL weekend for Inter.
An injury-riddled Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia started its U16 MRL Premier I Division play this past weekend in Rockford with three games. Saturday’s competition proved to be very challenging for Brasilia and started off with Futura Academy Forte Premier out of Missouri. The game ended in a 3-0 loss with Brasilia creating a few opportunities, but unfortunately did not find the net. In the afternoon game Brasilia faced WAZA FC East 99 Juniors from Michigan. Completely different style of play was shown by the Michigan team which chose to sit in and counter with long balls. As a result Brasilia had much more possession, but were denied on several opportunities and the match ended 3-1. Brasilia’s only goal came when Callie Vitro served an excellent ball from the left side of the box where Jasmine Ruiz scored a fantastic header that beat the fully-extended WAZA keeper.
In Sunday’s game Brasilia faced another tough challenge with Lou Fusz – Wipke (MO) who was a Region II Championship semi-finalist. The game proved to be very physical with end-to-end excitement. The opening goal was a result of great build-up coming out of the back with Callie Vitro playing a ball into the final third to Safia Hannin. Safia drove toward goal beating her opponent inside prior to releasing a shot toward goal that was slightly deflected prior to reaching the back of the net. Brasilia’s second goal came off some hard work with Makenna Schoolman sending a ball toward the back post which Rachel White finished. Lou Fusz countered each goal with one of its own until the final minutes. Play started in the midfield where Maddie Lambert collected a ball and beat her opponent inside to allow time for her perfectly weighted pass into Safia Hannin. Safia drove toward the right side of the box beat two players to go one on one with the keeper and she placed a great ball into the far side netting for the game-winner. Great way to end the weekend against some great competition.
Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro began its quest for an MRL Premier I Division championship repeat with a convincing 3-0 win against Alliance SC from Michigan. The game-winner came half-way through the first half when GK Bailee Witt served a perfect 50-yard outlet pass to Jamie Goralski, who beat two opponents down the left flank before delivering an inch-perfect cross into the path of Alyssa Bombacino in front of the Alliance goal. Alyssa did not disappoint and gave Cruzeiro the lead for good.
About 10 minutes later Alyssa beat her defender 1v1 in the Alliance penalty box before getting taken down for an obvious penalty kick. Jordan King stepped up to hammer it home for the 2-0 lead. And in the 2nd half Jordan King’s corner found Alyssa Bombacino at the top of the penalty box, and her shot was parried by the Alliance GK into the path of Sarah Avery who slotted it home for the 3-0 win. Bailee Witt got the shutout in goal for Cruzeiro.
Team Chicago Academy-Bahia kicked off its U14 MRL Premier II Division play with a 3-1 victory against KC Select Spirit USA (MO) on Saturday morning. The early-morning game was played on a very slick field, which made it difficult to play good possession-soccer, but the Bahia players handled the conditions well. Paige Miller scored the first goal of the match created by a great run down the left side by Molly Grant who served an excellent ball toward the back post. Paige made a great first touch to then set herself up for a fantastic finish over the goal keeper. Bahia continued to dominate possession especially in the middle of the park with Natalie Massa, Sophia Majher, and Megan Olah controlling the tempo. Through their efforts the next goal was a result of great build-up that ended with Paige Miller driving end-line and serving an excellent ball across the goal-mouth where Sophia Majher buried her shot first-time. Against the run-of-play Bahia gave up a goal on a restart to make the score 2-1. Bahia kept its poise and through its pressure they created the final goal. Paige Miller came back into the midfield and overturned the ball to feed Emma Crosswaite inside the penalty box. Emma beat the defender going to her left and drilled a shot to the opposite corner for an excellent finish.
In Sunday’s game, Bahia faced Lou Fusz Walsh Red (MO) which proved to be more physical. The game ended with a 1-1 tie in a game that lacked rhythm for long periods of the game. Bahia didn’t give up many scoring opportunities and only through a defensive mishap did the opponent have an opportunity to score. Bahia’s goal came off some hard work on the left side that eventually ended with Paige Miller sending a ball toward the back post and Abby Ford calmly finished her chance to tie the game up. Bahia had chances in the last ten minutes to secure the win but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Great start to the MRL season for Bahia.
All four teams are back in Rockford this weekend for another round of MRL games.
Three Team Chicago teams invaded Buffalo Grove this past weekend showing off an array of skills, abilities, and even a flair for celebrations as both age groups had a Team Chicago team in the championship game.
In the* U14 Girls division, Team Chicago-Academy-Ponte Preta* started off on Friday night under the lights against Schwaben’s U13 Nationals team. Being the first game of the season for both teams, it was a one where chances were tough to come by. The majority of Ponte Preta’s attack came along the flanks with their best chance being thwarted by a questionable no-call in the box.
The second half was more of the same until Schwaben played a nice combination through the middle before a 30 yard chip surprised everyone for the eventual game-winner. The rest of the game was a tense contest of Ponte Preta’s ability to score versus Schwaben’s stubborn defense anchored by their young and small but athletic goalie. The final score left Ponte Preta down 1-0 and with a taste for revenge.
The second and third group games were tougher than expected and proved to be good tests for the girls. 10 minutes into its game versus CFJ North Red, Ponte Preta was up 2-0 and looking for closure but they found the crossbar and the goalie, but not a goal to put the game out of reach. Proving the adage that a 2-goal lead is the most dangerous, Ponte Preta had a dogfight on its hands after letting up a goal in the second half. Thankfully, the defense held up. The last group game needed only a tie against a depleted Berwyn Blazers Swiss team, and TC squeezed through with a sub-par performance to a 1-1 draw.
Sunday’s final was a repeat of Friday’s game against Schwaben Nationals. Ponte Preta played an open game and attacked the wings, but this left them vulnerable to counter attacks. After a couple Ponte Preta errors, Schwaben was able to take advantage to get the go-ahead goal, and rode their ability to defend until the last minute. Credit to the Ponte Preta girls for their team never-say-die attitude as they pushed for a tying goal, but the touch of genius or good fortune never came.
In the end, all three Team Chicago teams left their mark on the Northwest suburbs through their skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Congratulations and thanks to all the players and their families who helped make this weekend’s fall kickoff possible.