Women's First Team Falls to Indiana Union While Men's NSL Team Soars Past Berber City

Women's First Team Falls to Indiana Union While Men's NSL Team Soars Past Berber City

This week brought hard fought matches for both the Women's First Team and the Men's NSL Team.


Women’s First Team vs. Indiana Union: 3-1 L

42' A. Buechel


Men’s NSL Team vs. Berber City FC Reserves: 3-1 W

5' L. Hettinger 

67' D. Rivera

90' J. Sagbay


Women's First Team and Indiana Union line up for the national anthem prior to kickoff. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)

Women's First Team

The Women's First Team fell to Indiana Union at the Fire Pitch Saturday night, losing 3-1 after a strong offensive showing by the visitors.

Rooks player Flower Edington faces off against Indiana players. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/) 

Solid play in the midfield by the Rooks such wasn't enough to keep Indiana from having multiple scoring opportunities in the first half. Scoring the opening goal at 17', Indiana looked to be the stronger team after forcing the Rooks to play the majority of the half in their own territory.

Rooks midfielder Amanda Buechel shoots a goal past Indiana's goalie at 42'. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)

After being dragged down by an Indiana player, Buechel was awarded a penalty kick shortly afterwards; Buechel banged the kick off the crossbar when trying to score.

Buechel would get her goal later in the game; after Indiana scored their second goal at 40' following a rushing play into Rooks territory, Edington and Buechel would lead their own at 42'; Edington assisted Buechel with an accurate pass that sent 'Boosh' behind Indiana's defense and into scoring position.

After landing the goal, both sides clashed in a series of face-offs in the midfield. Indiana had more possession of the ball, but the Rooks prevented them from scoring on them again.

The Women's First Team entered halftime with a tense commitment to rally against their opponents. Starting keeper Nicole D'Agostino talked amongst her teammates regarding her perspective at the back:

Rooks goalie Nicole D'Agostino blocks a Indiana corner kick play. Credit: Oscar Aguilar (https://www.instagram.com/boxcar_creative/)

"I saw a lot of walking," Dags said in the huddle. "I saw 3 people playing and the rest waiting for something to happen. Movement makes all the difference, and we need more."

After rallying around Dags's words and others, the Rooks reentered the game with a newfound energy. The Rooks battled to tie the game, opening more opportunities for themselves in the process. At 59', Rooks midfielder Nathalie Mathis had an attempt to score the tying goal off from a direct set piece 24 yards from goal. Mathis's attempt ricocheted back off the wall, and with a one-time half volley, Buechel's rebound shot beat the traffic in front of goal, only to once again bang off the center of the crossbar. Following that attempt, Indiana Union rallied to land their final goal at 60'.

The Rooks tried to rally after that score in a final push, but smart defensive play by Indiana prevented any of the Rook's offensive shifts from landing positive results. The Rooks tried to usher in new offensive shifts on the pitch, but Indiana read their movements and reflected the attacks posed against them.

Dags also provided a penalty kick save at 77', denying the visitors the satisfaction of scoring in the final minutes of the game. After the pressure that Indiana was pushing onto the Rooks, Dags's impressive block was met with cheers from Rooks teammates and fans alike.

Midfielder Darien Lucas stands ready for action next to a Indiana player. Credit: Miles Whitworth (whirltwirlmedia.com)

Despite the outcome of the game, however, Women's First Team assistant head coach Emily Witt saw the game as a lesson worth learning for the team moving forwards.

"The thing I took out of the last 10 minutes [of the game] was the energy you had," Witt told the players. "We just waited too long [to let it out]."

The Women's First Team now looks onward to their next game on Wednesday against RBFC Elite at Riverside-Brookfield High School at 7 PM.

The Men's NSL Team poses before the start of their game on Sunday. Credit: Gareth Mullins

Men's NSL Team

The Men's NSL team won a convincing victory over Berber City FC's Reserves team Sunday afternoon in a 3-1 win at Wilson Turf Field.

As soon as the game kicked off, the Rooks brought the fight to Berber City. After multiple attempts in the first minutes of the game, the Rooks were awarded a penalty kick after pressuring Berber into fouling in their box. 

Rooks player Liam Hettinger lands a penalty kick at 5'. Credit: Gareth Mullins

Stepping up for the kick, Rooks player and team captain Liam Hettinger landed a smooth diagonal kick into the net, tricking Berber's goalie to fall the other way.

"I practiced with [their goalie] before, so I had to change [my penalty kick] up to trick him," Hettinger explained after the kick.

Following the penalty, Berber responded with a goal at 7' to bring themselves back into the fold. Kicking themselves back into gear, the Rooks prevented Berber from scoring for the rest of the half, with effective tackling from the Rooks defense highlighted by back Juan Valencia.

Man of the Match Diego Rivera poses after the game. Credit: Jose Landa

The decisive goal of the match came at 67' and was scored by Man of the Match Diego Rivera. With composure, he expertly placed his shot beyond the reach of the keeper, capitalizing on a precise pass from David Luis who cleverly split Berber's defense.


The Men's NSL Team huddles after a successful first half. Credit: Gareth Mullins

After Rivera's goal, momentum shifted in favor of the Rooks. Capping off the game at 90' was a rushing goal scored by Jordan Sagbay, ending the already positive game on a high note.

With first place in the Chicago Division being being hotly contested amongst the top of the table behind AFC Roscoe and Lakeview FC. Next week they will face 4th placeUnited FC, who are coming off of a victory over Lakeview last weekend. Catch this match at Wilson Turf Field on June 11th at 6 PM.

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