The sun was out at Grand Park for Saturday’s action and despite the frigid temperatures, a few teams got hot and left feeling a little warmer.
PSG MI Gators 98 Orange 1 – 1 ELA Elite
The PSG Gators did their best to hold on after taking an early 1-0 lead, but ELA scored in the 51st minute to force a 1-1 tie.
The Gators weren’t able to create many scoring opportunities against ELA, but they took full advantage of the few they had. Morgan Dease scored in the 14th minute for a 1-0 lead, but didn’t threaten again and looked relatively ineffective in the second half.
ELA on the other hand had a plethora of chances, but wasn’t able to finish any of them off. Just a few minutes after going down 1-0, Heather Bradshaw had a shot from 20 yards out, but Davanna White made the save.
A few minutes later, an ELA player stole the ball in the middle third and found Jessica Stomberg running down the right sideline. She dribbled deep into the box, passed back to the trailing Bradshaw, but Bradshaw’s shot went wide right. After ELA got called offside on their next attack, an ELA player made another run, beating a defender and crossing the ball to the left side of the field. The cross found a teammate, but the shot went wide.
In the 30th minute, Stomberg made a close quarters pass to Bradshaw inside the 6-yard box and her shot was on goal, but White made the save.
After each failed chance, the Gators would clear or try to create their own, only for ELA to get the ball back and keep shooting.
ELA finally got on the board in the 51st minute. On a free kick from the right side 25 yards out towards the far post, nobody controlled the ball initially, but it sat dangerously close to the goal and an ELA player opportunistically tapped it in between the post and the goalkeeper for the tie.
The ELA offense kept at it, but White kept making saves and time expired before anyone could score the winning goal.
SAA-SCU U18 Black 2 – 0 White Eagles SC SA97 G
SAA took advantage of a wide open first half creating enough chances to build a 2-0 lead. They didn’t score again, but the White Eagles didn’t score at all and SAA took home a 2-0 win.
Casey Harris set the pace for SAA with three early chances. She stole the ball near midfield in the second minute and passed to Sydney O’Keeffe inside the 18-yard box, but the pass couldn’t be controlled. In the 10th minute she made a run down the right sideline, beating her defender, but nobody was in the middle for her to cross it to and she eventually lost possession. In the 13th minute her deep pass split two defenders and led Christina Kim almost perfectly, but there was just a bit too much on it and the goalkeeper scooped it up.
Kim picked up where Harris left off though, passing to O’Keeffe near the right post outside the 6-yard box. O’Keeffe’s 15th-minute shot went far post past the goalkeeper for SAA’s first score.
Kennedy Irmen nearly made it a two-score game in the 34th minute with a shot off a direct kick from 35 yards out. Her line-drive shot just cleared the wall and was on goal, but went straight to the goalkeeper.
They’d get the two-score lead five minutes later though. Emily Mazurek crossed to Gianna Angiulo who was 10 yards out. Angiulo shanked the ball on her shot, but Kim collected the rebound and scored.
After not getting many looks in the first half, O’Keeffe ran the offense in the second. She had one shot, two assist chances and drew on offside call on a third.
While SAA didn’t score again, the constant pressure kept the Eagles off balance and out of sync and helped finish off the 2-0 win.
Chicago Edge SC GU17 Premier 4 – 1 Lakeshore Premier SC
Lakeshore scored right out of the gates and held on to their 1-0 lead in the first half despite looking out of sorts at times. The Edge put an end to the charade though with an offensive explosion to open the second. Three goals in six minutes propelled the Edge to a 4-1 win.
Both sides traded shots following Nora Adkin’s 5th-minute goal to put Lakeshore up 1-0, but the Lakeshore forwards started to lose some aggressiveness as the half wore on. They made it to the break with their lead intact, but it wouldn’t last much longer than that.
Just two minutes into the second half, Patricia Heneghan got the Edge on the board with a high 20-yard shot toward the right post.
Anna Eddelbuettel, who was moved to midfield for the second half after several unsuccessful solo runs in the first half, made a run in the 44th minute spanning more than half the field. She split three defenders running down the left side and into the box and shot towards the far post for a 2-1 lead. The move continued to midfield continued to pay dividends when Eddelbuettel scored again in the 46th minute.
Following a six-minute injury delay, Eddelbuettel made yet another run, this time down the right sideline, culminating in a shot from 15 yards out, but the Lakeshore goalkeeper finally made a save.
Just four minutes later though, in the 62nd minute, a third Edge player scored. Grace Huettel controlled the ball at the top left corner of the 6-yard box after a corner kick from the right side. She aimed high to the near post while the goalkeeper anticipated a change of direction toward the far post
The Edge’s three goals in six minutes and four goals in twenty proved too much for Lakeshore and secured a 4-1 win.