Welcome to the first ever post of the Rooks Recap! Every Tuesday throughout this season, we will taking time to recount how each game for the Men’s and Women’s teams went.
Men’s First Team vs. Berber City FC: 3-0 W
11’ B. Kimiavi
69’ R. Cardano
79’ G. Fallah
Women’s First Team vs. Chicago House AC: 5-1 W
11’, 13’, 38’, 83’ N. Dominguez
60’ L. Stepniak
Men’s NSL Team vs. Juanacatlan FC Chicago: 3-0 W
11’ B. Mooney
44’ M. Hassan
59’ L. Hettinger
The Men’s First Team’s starting line-up poses before the start of their 3-0 victory Saturday night. Credit: David Camargo
Men’s First Team
The Men’s First Team set the Fire Pitch ablaze Saturday night, winning their home opener against Berber City Football Club 3-0 thanks to superb performances across the pitch.
Kenny Nana (#24) prepares to start an attack during second half play. Credit: David Camargo
Bardia Kimiavi set the stage early, scoring a goal 11 minutes into the game. For the rest of the first half and during the second, defensive excellence from Kenny Nana and goalkeeper Jacob Altstadt kept Berber City from answering back.
During the second, Roberto Cardano made his Midwest Premier League debut one to remember by scoring a fantastic goal 69 minutes in. Celebrating the score afterwards, Roberto was all smiles reflecting on his first game.
Roberto Cardano (#19) celebrates his goal with his other teammates. Credit: David Camargo
“I’ve never played in this league before, so it felt pretty good to get that [goal] on the opening game,” said Cardano.
During the game, the sky opened up as rain poured on fans and players. However, the rain didn’t ruin anyone’s spirits; some Rooks, like George Fallah, were even happy with how the weather turned out to be.
George Fallah (#23) angles his shot before scoring. Credit: David Camargo
“I’m like a fish,” Fallah said. “I love playing in the rain!”
Things went swimmingly for Fallah when he got called into the third, scoring a beauty of a goal 79 minutes in to seal the deal.
Man of the Match Kyle Robson (#3) poses after the game with his celebratory Half Acre Beer. Credit: Edgewater Castle FC Instagram
Man of the Match Kyle Robson was also celebrated after the game’s conclusion for helping make the successes of the Rooks across the pitch possible.
By blocking Berber City from scoring and crushing the ball into the net on multiple occasions, one thing is for certain; the Men’s First Team definitely brought the strength against the storm for their Chicago derby.
The Men's First Team next challenge awaits in Wyeth Stadium in Rockford, Illinois on May 20th at 5:30 PM against Rockford FC.
Women’s Assistant Coach Emily Witt rallies the Rooks prior to their 5-1 victory Sunday night. Credit: Gareth Mullins
Women’s First Team
On Sunday night, the women’s first team also brought the heat in their friendly game against Chicago House AC with a 5-1 win at the Foster Avenue Soccer Fields. This is thanks in part to Rook Nahla Dominguez, who scored 4 goals throughout the game.
Dominguez solidified her hat-trick in the first half, scoring at 11’, 13’, and 38’. When called back into play the second half, she scored yet again, scoring at 83’ to cap off an amazing performance. Dominguez’s second goal was assisted by Jacelyn Islas, someone who has been playing with Dominguez since they were little.
Dominguez reflected on her past with Islas while celebrating with her friends and family in attendance after the match.
“I really liked my second goal because I have been playing with Jacelyn since we were 4, 5 years old, so [scoring with her] felt good, like old times,” Dominguez said.
Outside of Dominguez’s accomplishments, the rest of the squad also played well. Daphne Lyketsos held a solid defense, and Flower Edington dominated the midfield just to name a few. Lula Stepniak also scored a goal at 60’ off of the bench.
Goalie Nicole D’Agostino also had a solid performance. Blocking 2 shots on goal by Chicago House within the first 2 minutes, Dags kept the Rooks in the game and provided the momentum needed for them to win, only letting Chicago House player J. Ascensio score late into the second half.
The Rooks now look to keep their momentum up as they continue to press on to their first regular season game at the Fire Pitch against the Cincinnati Sirens on May 20th at 8:30 PM.
Man of the Match Major Hassan leads the NSL Team’s chants after their 3-0 win Saturday evening. Credit: Gareth Mullins
Men’s NSL Team
The Men’s NSL Team starting a winning streak at Wilson Turf Field Sunday evening, beating Juanacatlan FC Chicago 3-0.
Before the game, newly announced team captains Blake Mooney and Liam Hettinger hyped up the team, and during the game, their performances did as well.
Early in the game at 11’ minutes in, Mooney shot a goal from the midfield to get the Rooks’ scoring started. Later towards the end of the game, Hettinger, after a handball was called against Juanacatlan, scored a penalty kick at 59’.
Hettinger, reflecting on the goal, was happy to make a scoring contribution outside of his defensive play in the backfield.
“Being a center back, I don’t score often, so [scoring] gets me on a sheet and helps me support the team,” said Hettinger.
Man of the Match Major Hassan also helped the Rooks out a major way throughout the game. Shooting a cross to Mooney to set up his goal and scoring one himself at 44’, Hassan rightfully got recognition for his skills during the game.
However, looking forwards into the future, the NSL Team’s coaching staff and the players themselves believed that the team needs to work on scoring after multiple missed opportunities when scoring during the match, especially as the Rooks face tough competition moving forwards in the National Soccer League Chicago Division like AFC Roscoe.
“We struggled to score goals this game, missing some big chances,” Hettinger stated.
Despite this, however, the Rooks have continued to be unbeaten this season with their win this Sunday, and look to continue their success next Sunday at noon against the top team of the table, Lakeview FC, at Wilson Turf Field.