The Rooks had a busy week, with mixed results across the club coming to be in heated matchups.
Women's First Team vs. RBFC Elite: 3-2 W
56' A. Buechel
62' F. Edington
87' L. Hall
Men's First Team vs. Bavarians SC: 5-2 L
5' M. Kamil
71' E. Spartiatis
Men's NSL Team vs. United FC: 3-0 L
The Women's celebrate their first ever win in United Women's Soccer. Credit: (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Women's First Team
The Women's first team won against RBFC Elite Tuesday night at Riverside-Brookfield High School in Brookfield, IL after pulling off a roaring 3-2 comeback in the second half.
Coming off of a loss last weekend, the Rooks wanted to bring in new light to the way they were playing. In order to get themselves in that mindset, new Women's First Team head coach Emma Woodley had simple advice to give to her new players:
Head Coach Emma Woodley writes down the Rooks' game plan. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
"You guys are an energetic, fun team," Head Coach Woodley said with enthusiasm. "Look alive and be alive. Get hyped together and have fun together!"
Entering the game, the Rooks had this mindset with smiles on their faces until 45 seconds into play. Within their first possession of the ball, RBFC scored against the Rooks as their first offensive play was too fast for the Rook's defense to handle.
Amanda Clark looks on at the RBFC offense. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Shaken but not deterred, the Rooks continued to press on to keep the match competitive. Defenders Amanda Clark and Daphne Lyketsos continuously defended their goal from the opposition, winning clashes with grit and with impressive slide tackling. Clark also helped create opportunities for her team, helping pass the ball up to assist in the Rooks' scoring chances throughout the match.
Despite the Rooks having the majority of the possession in the first half, they were unable to score despite multiple near goals. At '27, Amanda Buechel nearly sunk the ball in in a near shot to the goal that could have been a momentum changer, but the RBFC defense prevented her.
After Buechel's almost goal, RBFC went on to score their second goal at 29'. after getting the ball near the Rooks' goal, an initial shot was saved by Rooks goalie Nicole D'Agostino. The ball then ricocheted to another RBFC player, who tried and failed after Lyketsos blocked her with a sliding tackle. Sadly, one final RBFC player was there to make the shot off of the defensive plays of the Rooks.
Head Coach Emma Woodley consults with players at halftime. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Entering halftime, the Rooks looked deflated after the RBFC got into their heads with how they were playing. But Head Coach Woodley stepped up to rally the players before they were back on the field:
"We didn't know what we were doing [in the first half]," Woodley said. "When we have the ball, calm down and keep the ball. We really just need to focus on us [instead of RBFC]."
Woodley's words were exactly what the Rooks needed. As soon as they stepped back onto the field, the energy of the game shifted into the Rooks' favor, giving them ample opportunities to score on RBFC; something that they did in stunning fashion.
Amanda Buechel walks after an attacking play. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
The Rook's first goal was due to an impressive offensive shift between a bunch of the Rook's players; coming up the field, Midfielder Gabby Johansson passed the ball to Midfielder Nahla Dominguez. Dominguez then passed the ball to Midfielder Flower Edington, who then passed the ball to Buechel who scored close to the net at 56'. The play was a real sign of how well the Rooks squad plays with each other.
Flower Edington (20) runs towards the ball during an offensive play. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Shortly after, at 62', Dominguez sent a precise curved corner kick to Edington in a contested corner clash, who then sent the ball flying off her body into the net. Thanks to Edington's positioning, the Rooks turned the game from a 2-0 challenge to a tied game.
Finally, in the closing minutes of the match, Hall positioned herself to perform a regular free kick into RBFC territory. Instead of shooting it to one of her teammates, Hall launched the ball into RBFC's net with a killer curved kick at 87' to secure the 3-2 win. Hall's efforts mark Edgewater Castle FC's first ever win in United Women's Soccer, a historic moment for the club and for its players.
Lauren Hall (right) celebrates her goal with Gabby Johansson (left). Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
With Rooks fans and players celebrating after the game, Hall was genuinely surprised at her goal.
"I wasn't even going for the goal," Hall said. "I was just dumping it over there. I feel great!"
Looking onwards to their next game, the Women's First Team prepares to face Indiana Union on June 17th at Trinity Sports Park at 4 PM.
Men’s First Team
The Men’s First Team suffered a 5-2 loss Saturday night in Milwaukee against Bavarians SC at Heartland Value Fund Stadium.
Q Benedetto sets up a rushing attack. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
The game started off strong, with both teams sharing possession. Thanks to players like Q Benedetto, the Rooks were able to set up early offensive chances for themselves thanks to clean and precise passing. Due to this, The Rooks started the game with a score at 5’; a cross from Gustav Ericsson made it to Murtadha Kamil, who landed a solid header into the net.
Murtadha Kamil prepares to strike against Bavarians. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Bavarians soon responded at 9’ with a long diagonal goal kick that soared past goalie Aidan Crawford. After some back-and-forth play, a Rooks-caused penalty at 25’ led to a Bavarian penalty kick to the righthand corner that Crawford couldn’t reach when attempting a diving save towards it.
Goalie Aidan Crawford makes a jumping save. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
Throughout the remainder of the half, Rooks players put up a valiant effort to try and score against Bavarians. Multiple shots on goals from both sides were executed, most missing only by a slim margin. In the end, both sides looked eager to bring their A-game in the second half after a 2-1 first.
The first opening minutes of the half looked to make the games as contested as it was in the first, but Bavarians soon shifted momentum towards their favor with a pair of goals. Another long-distance diagonal shot into the Rooks’ net at 52’ despite the Rooks’ efforts to prevent another long shot from scoring. On top of this, a defensive error by the Rooks allowed for a Bavarians player to slip past their defensive line thanks to a cutting diagonal pass at 70, allowing him to score a shortrange curved shot. With the game being 4-1, Bavarians had a firm grip on the game’s outcome.
Evangelo Spartiatis rushes past a Bavarians player. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)
However, the Rooks still had some fire left in them. Pushing upwards immediately following Bavarians fourth goal, Rooks player Evangelo Spartiatis managed to land a penalty kick at 71’. After building up his shot, he managed to sneak the ball right past the righthand corner of the goalie, making the score 4-2. Bavarians took that point personally, however, pushing onwards to score at 79’ after another clearing diagonal shot sped past the Rooks defense too another player, putting the game to rest at 5-2.
Errors on behalf of the Rooks defense and a lack of landing the ball when opportunities struck left the Rooks with a tough loss after their trip to Wisconsin. Not all was negative for the Rooks however; Rooks up-and-coming player Blake Mooney made his MWPL debut at the game, with much more to look forwards to in the future.
The Men’s First Team now continue to press on to their next match, having learned what it took to win from their loss. Catch them at the Fire Pitch on Saturday, June 17th at the Fire Pitch at 7:30 PM for their clash against their rivals, Steel City FC.
The Men's NSL Team poses before their match against United FC. Credit: Jose Landa
Men’s NSL Team
The Men’s NSL Team suffered a tough loss against United FC at Wilson Turf Field Sunday evening, losing 3-0.
The Rooks entered the game without both of their starting centerbacks; both Liam Hettinger and Carlos Soto were out of town, leaving other players to fill in the gaps they left unfilled in their absence
As soon as the game kicked off, United FC maintained strong possession of the ball and leaped into Rooks territory. The momentum of the match was in United’s hands, whose players scored the opening goal at 9’ after recovering the ball from a goalie kick by Rooks goalie Mason Muentz and landing a close header into the net.
United continued to have control of the ball later into the half. At 16’, United scored their second goal, which was a long shot diagonal into the Rook’s goal from their midfield.
For most of the rest of the game, clashes between the Rooks and United seemed to remain dead in the water. The Rooks prevented United from scoring multiple times with impressive saves, but were not able to muster the efforts needed to score against their opponents. The start of the second half gave the Rooks some chances to score, but their shots on goal were dealt with accordingly by United.
After preventing a round of Rooks scoring opportunities, United scored their final score of the game at 52’ after a series of passes after an overhead pass from deep into United territory managed to get into the hands of rushing United strikers, who passed the ball amongst each other before shooting it into the net after their first striker faked out Muentz, leaving the goal undefended.
Lacking the defensive support needed to prevent goals, United managed to steal victory away from the Rooks. As the table continues to grow competitive, the Rooks hope to be at full strength in coming matches, especially as the competition continues to grow tougher.
Watch the next Men’s NSL Team game on June 18th against AFC Roscoe at Wilson Turf Field at 12:00 PM.