The Rooks had a slew of hard-fought matches this week.
Women’s First Team vs. RBFC Elite: 7-1 W
23’, 47’ N. Davenport
32’, 44’ [PK] A. Beuchel
43’, 48’ F. Edington
64’ D. Lucas
Women's First Team vs. Chicago Rush Soccer Club: 2-0 W
32’ F. Edington
51’ P. Matacchiera
Men’s First Team vs. Czarni Jaslo Chicago (Illinois State Cup Final): 2-1 L
69’ G. Ericsson
Men’s NSL Team vs. Juanacatlan FC Chicago Gorillas: 2-0 L
Women’s First Team
The Women’s First Team capped off their United Women’s Soccer debut season with two strong victories this week.
The Women's First Team's starting 11 pose before their match against RBFC Elite. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Women’s First Team vs. RBFC Elite
The Rooks’ first match of the week was against RBFC Elite at the Fire Pitch Saturday night for their last home game of the season. Playing dominantly, the Rooks capped off their homestand with a 7-1 win.
The Rooks took the field to an electric atmosphere as the Fire Pitch sidelines were packed with Edgewater fans, friends, and family, some of whom had been tailgating earlier in the afternoon.
Lauren Hall (left), Daphne Lyketsos (middle), and Nahla Dominguez (right) run to set up a play. Credit: Conner Macintosh (https://www.instagram.com/connor.aden/)
The Rooks harnessed that energy on their opening play of the match. Impressive pressure by players such as midfielders Lauren Hall and Nahla Dominguez as well as defenders Kelli Ford and Daphne Lyketsos held RBFC from having many looks at goal. Goalkeeper Nicole D’Agostino also set the tone early with a great save at 7’, diving right to stop RBFC from scoring early.
Scoring opportunities subsequently followed for the Rooks, opportunities that they capitalized on in explosive fashion.
Natasha Davenport prepares to launch the ball into RBFC's net. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Midfielder Natasha Davenport started off the Rooks’ scoring at 23’. After receiving a cross from midfielder Jenny Rodriguez, Davenport found herself in a one-on-one with RBFC’s goalie. Shooting a powerful diagonal ball to the left, she opened up the game 1-0.
Amanda Beuchel rushes to steal the ball from an RBFC player. Credit: Conner Macintosh (https://www.instagram.com/connor.aden/)
More scoring soon followed afterwards. At 32’, Rooks defender Jackie Tamas fired another long cross over RBFC defenders into the box to Rooks midfielder Amanda Beuchel. Landing a powerful header, “Boosh” extended the Rooks lead.
Shortly after, RBFC would get their first and only goal of the match. Pushing the ball up the field, the RBFC scoring player shot a diagonal in between Rooks defenders, making the score 2-1.
Flower Edington celebrates her goal with her teammates. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
The Rooks answered the call, scoring two goals in one minute in response. At 43’, midfielder Darian Lucas sent a cross to Tamas, who put in another cross towards striker Flower Edington. Edington lined it up and launched one past RBFC’s goalkeeper. Lucas made her way into scoring position again at 44’, but was tripped by an RBFC defender; Buechel took the penalty kick and launched the ball right past the goalies hands to make the score 4-1 at halftime and to net herself a brace.
Going into the second half following the goals in the first, RBFC’s players looked deflated in their play. Not having the energy nor the speed to respond to the Rooks’ attacking play, the Women’s First Team continued to score early and often.
Kelli Ford and Flower Edington embrace after their goal. Credit: Conner Macintosh (https://www.instagram.com/connor.aden/)
At 47’ Davenport netted her own brace after receiving the ball from Rodriguez in the middle of the box. A minute later, Edington captured herself the Rooks’ third brace of the day after Ford securely passed the ball to her.
“[They got us] a hat trick of braces,” gleamed midfielder Gaby Johansson.
Darian Lucas (middle right) celebrates her goal with her teammates. Credit: Conner Macintosh (https://www.instagram.com/connor.aden/)
To cap off an afternoon of offensive excellence, Lucas scored a diagonal kick off of a pass from Edington to put the game to rest at 64’. Following Lucas’s score, RBFC never fully regained composure, especially as Rooks defenders Lyketsos and Amanda Clark countered their every move with quick, determined defending in the Rooks half.
Carlie Hansen (left) and Nicole D'Agostino (right) embrace as Carlie comes onto the field. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
The Rooks’ play also meant that backup keeper Carlie Hansen had a moment to shine. Getting onto the field at 63’, Hansen took over from D’Agostino to close out the match. With the cheers of friends and family powering her onwards, Hansen did just that, stopping the last threat RBFC posed to the Rooks at 71’ with a diving left save to stop an RBFC free kick.
“This is different,” joked D’Agostino as she was cheering on Hansen from the sideline.
Women's First Team assistant coach Emily Whitt watches the game from the sidelines. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
After the game, the Rooks’ celebrations included a sendoff to Women’s First Team assistant coach Emily Witt, who will be leaving the club to pursue a coaching opportunity at her alma mater, Lora's College in Iowa.
“I felt [we were going to win] this morning,” Witt told the team. “Everyone’s going to score, it's going to be awesome. This was a gift. I couldn’t be so proud to coach this group of women. I’m so proud of all you guys.”
We at Edgewater Castle FC extend our fullest gratitude for Emily and wish her the best in her future endeavors!
The Women's First Team and staff yell "Go Rooks" to the sky one last time to cap off their 2023 UWS season. Credit: Daniel Morales Espinoza (https://www.instagram.com/realdmtv/)
Women’s First Team vs. Chicago Rush Soccer Club
The Women’s First Team continued their excellence into the final game of their season, beating Chicago Rush Soccer Club 2-0 Tuesday night at Olympic Park in Schaumburg, Illinois.
The Rooks once again started strongly, maintaining a majority of the possession of the ball. Great pressure up the field from Rodriguez, Buechel, Hall, and Tamas kept the ball in Rush’s territory and away from the Rooks’ net. Having more opportunities to score than Rush, the Rooks were in fine shape.
Flower Edington clashes with a Rush player close to Rush's goal. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
Edington kept up her scoring ways at 32’, running past Rush’s defenders for the score. That coupled with solid defense from Rooks defenders Lyketsos and Clark kept the Rooks dominating despite only a 1-0 lead into the break.
Edgewater Castle FC co-founder and lead scout James Kitia poses for the camera. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
At half, Men’s First Team assistant coach Carlos Landa and Edgewater Castle FC co-founder and lead scout James Kitia, who were stepping in to coach the Women’s First Team for the game, discussed strategy and how the Rooks could continue to pressure Rush across the pitch. The halftime strategy session paid off as the Rooks maintained their composure offensively in the second half.
Christina Murillo Sanchez prepares to send the ball soaring. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
Midfielder Christina Murillo Sanchez consistently set up offensive plays and kept the ball away from the Rooks’ net with far-reaching passes across the field. Rooks forward Erin Derken also provided great play up front, pressuring Rush within their half with a strong physical presence.
The Rooks celebrate Paige Matacchiera's first goal of the season. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
Derken’s efforts would help Rooks forward Paige Matacchiera grab her first goal of the season at 51’. After Murillo Sanchez launched the ball across the field into Rush’s half, Derken managed to secure the ball off of Rush’s defenders and passed it to Matacchiera.
Jackie Tamas fights off a Rush player for possession of the ball. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
Tamas also continued to press Rush on the left flank, keeping the pressure on as she battled with Rush’s players close to the sidelines with strong, physical play.
“It’s not a soccer game if I don’t have a violent play,” joked Tamas. “I have a lot of character moments.”
Strong communication, offensive pressing, and winning 50-50 balls drove the Rooks to secure their 2-0 victory and third place in their UWS division.
The 2023 Women's First Team poses together for one last time. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)
Stay tuned for future Women’s First Team games in the Fall.
The Men's First Team starting 11 line up before the Illinois State Cup Final against Czarni Jaslo Chicago. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Men’s First Team
The Men’s First Team lost a tough battle to Czarni Jaslo Chicago in the Illinois State Cup Final Saturday night, losing 2-1 at Loyola Academy’s Munz Field in Glenview, Illinois.
A massive crowd full of Edgewater Castle and Czarni supporters lined the pitch creating a tense atmosphere. Player/Assistant Coach David Abidor spoke to the players during a huddle before the game started.
David Arbidor and his fellow teammates talk before the start of the match. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
“We’ve been playing all season for this moment,” Abidor said to his teammates to elevate their energy.
Bardia Kimiavi fights with a Czarni player to get possession of the ball. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Going into the game, the Rooks did just that. Czarni Jaslo, the top team in the Rooks’ Midwest Premier League division, brought high level play, but the Rooks brought their A-game to the pitch. Solid defense from Abidor, Tobi Wimmer, Roberto Cardano, and winger Bardia Kimiavi kept Czarni from scoring early. Czarni responded with strong tackling and physical play, but the Rooks remained determined to prevent them from scoring.
Al Stankovic played solidly in the midfield too, and eventually got himself into a one-on-one with Czarni’s keeper at 15’. His kick, however, went straight into the keeper’s hands, preventing the Rooks from having an early lead.
“I just keep thinking what could have happened if I had made that [goal],” Al reminisced after the game.
Bardia Kimiavi prepares to strike. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Despite the missed shot opportunity, the Rooks’ continued to pressure Czarni, putting up more scoring opportunities in the half.. Czarni’s keeper remained determined despite this, preventing shots from players like Kimiavi, who had a close corner goal at 12’ that only missed the goal by a couple inches thanks to the keeper’s pressure.
Edgewaters’s keeper Aidan Crawford also was determined to prevent goals on the pitch, and had an impressive save at 31’. After a scramble for the ball on the Rooks’ half, Crawford landed a punching save to prevent a very strong shot from Czarni from landing into the net.
Czarni eventually did strike first, landing their first goal at 32’. Rushing up the right side of the field past Rooks defenders, the Czarni scoring player used his speed and landed a kick past Crawford for the halftime 1-0 lead.
Defender Tobi Wimmer prepares to launch the ball into Czarni territory. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Even with Czarni striking first, the Rooks knew that the game was close going into halftime. Crawford, seeing that his players needed motivation to continue pressuring their opponents for the rest of the game, hyped them up after coming onto the sideline for water.
“[Our] team has no momentum,” Crawford said to his team. “It’s happened the last three games [we’ve played]. Step it up.”
Fueled by the tension on and off the field, both Edgewater and Czarni Jaslo entered the field with passions flaring. The game had to be stopped multiple times due to yellow cards being pulled on players from frequent clashes, underlining how much both wanted to win the cup.
Czarni continued to pile on the pressure until 66’ when they landed their second goal of the tie. After a dangerous corner kick where Crawford could only get a touch on the ball, Czarni capitalized on the rebound.
Gustav Ericsson pushes the ball into Czarni territory. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
The Rooks soon fired back to get the score to 2-1. At 69’, Following a long, bouncing ball, Gustav Ericsson snuck around the keeper and finished coolly. Fueled by the goal, the Rooks continued to press Czarni for the remainder of the game.
William Acheampong prepares to get the ball passed to him. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
At 74’ Rooks midfielder William Acheampong almost finished on target, but his shot flew just over the net. The Rooks came closest in the 88’ when Kimiavi found Evangelos Spartiatis for a flick at the top of the 6-yard box that ended up in the net. Celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s flag.
Crawford kept the Rooks in the game at 90’ with a diving stop but the squad was unable to respond at the other end before time was called.
Despite the 2-1 loss, the Rooks still put in a strong effort to keep the game a tightly contested match. You can catch the Rooks as they try to bring the same intensity against Chicago House AC on Saturday at 7PM at DePaul College Prep.
The Men's NSL Team and staff pose for a picture prior to their match against Juanacatlan FC Chicago Gorillas. Credit: Gareth Mullins (https://www.instagram.com/garithimo/)
Men’s NSL Team
The Men’s NSL Team suffered a tough loss against Juanacatlan FC Chicago Gorillas 2-0 at Wilson Turf Field Sunday afternoon.
Despite the Gorillas starting out with only 9 players on the pitch, the Rooks were not able to bring the energy to play offensively against them. Rooks midfielder Ronny Rivera did offer offensive chances for the Rooks by stripping the ball away from the competition and getting the ball in scoring position, but the Rooks lacked the pressure and intensity to capitalize off of his efforts.
The Gorillas opened the scoring at 20’ after Edgewater GK Mason Meentz was unable to stop a bouncing shot.. After allowing that goal, Meentz shutdown Gorillas’ future scoring attempts to keep the Rooks in the game, but the Rooks’ offense did not step up when opportunities arose. The team, having not practiced in two weeks due to the 4th of July and stormy weather, seemed to lack the chemistry needed to succeed.
Gorillas players press the ball into Rooks territory. Credit: Gareth Mullins (https://www.instagram.com/garithimo/)
Problems amongst the players continued into the second half. Lacking communication amongst each other, the Rooks were not able to set up offensive presses as much as they could have. Without such cohesion, the Gorillas were able to set up solid defensive play within their box to prevent the Rooks from scoring, even as Rooks player Enrique Rueda created great passing to set up plays in Gorillas territory.
At 66’, the Gorillas would land their second goal of the game. Rushing past the Rooks defenders, the Gorillas' striker finished into the corner of Meentz’sto seal the 2-0 victory.
The Rooks and the Gorillas clash in the midfield. Credit: Gareth Mullins (https://www.instagram.com/garithimo/)
Disappointed with the outcome, Rooks coaches and players alike discussed what happened on the field after the final whistle.
“We need some intensity,” Men’s NSL Team head coach Jose Landa told the team. “We can’t be turning off guys. You have to understand that if we lose the ball, we have to pressure together. It seems to be that a lot of times we are just walking around, and we're getting really comfortable. We gotta be better than that guys.”
“We were too up on them, we didn’t want to press, we didn’t want it,” said Rooks defender Carlos Soto.
The Men’s NSL Team looks to rally and return strong in their next game against Talara FC Reserves at Wilson Turf Field on Sunday at noon.