STREAMWOOD -- Streamwood shut out Bartlett in Wednesday’s match at Millennium Field, a feat no other Upstate Eight Conference team had accomplished since 2019. However, the Hawk’s defense was just as stingy and the league rivals battled to a scoreless tie.
Bartlett, ranked 47th in the Chicagoland Soccer First 50 preseason poll, had more scoring opportunities than Streamwood but could not capitalize on any. Sabres goalkeeper Selina Chavez’ aggressive play made shots on goal even more challenging. Not only did the senior make four saves, but she also prevented shots by beating Hawk players to loose balls in the penalty box.
“The positive is we kept them off the board. Unfortunately, on the other side we were shut out.
We had plenty of scoring opportunities, and we just couldn’t finish it tonight,” said Bartlett coach Vince Revak. “It’s our first game, so when it comes down to it, I liked the effort, and I liked the fight that we showed. We have a lot of organization to work on and some finishing drills might be in our near future.”
A sequence in the first half demonstrated how challenging it was for Bartlett (0-0-1, 0-0-1) to find the back of the net. Lizzie Dzielski got behind Streamwood’s backline but before the junior could connect on the ball at the left corner of the penalty box, Chavez pounced on it.
The Streamwood (1-0-1, 0-0-1) goalie then made a nice basket catch on Brooke Baumann’s 46-yard free kick into the wind.
Viviana Alba had the Hawks’ best chance at a goal halfway through the period with a close in boot that sailed over the net. Chavez thwarted Alba’s next attempt, by again beating the Bartlett junior to ball.
“We have some speed on the wings, and we are trying to get the ball wide. We had more diagonal play in the second half than in the first,” Revak said. “We had some combination plays with the wings that weren’t working out. We just couldn’t get the finish; we couldn’t get the cross or a shot,”
Streamwood coach David Criswell, who made his head coaching and Upstate Eight Conference debuts for the Sabres, had high praise for Chavez.
“She’s aggressive on her line and has good instincts. She’s as comfortable with her feet as well,” he said. “We want build out of the back, and she’s the first attacker that we’re going to have back there.”
Chavez, who earned the Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honor for her play, believes her team is getting comfortable with both a new coach and new team members.
“I feel like since we have a new coach and new players, we are getting the chemistry better,” the senior said. “We all are working together as a team.”
Challenging opposing strikers has always been her style.
“I do that a lot. I’ve been playing goalie for a really long time,” Chavez said. “I’m progressing every year and getting better.”
Baumann, a Bartlett co-captain, agreed that team harmony is a key to success.
“I think we already have really good chemistry, it’s just learning to play with each other and getting comfortable with each,” the St Mary’s (Indiana) commit said. “I think we did really well for our first game. Our effort was really good. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result that we wanted.”
Revak felt his defense played well.
“They were pressuring us and our defense held strong,” the Bartlett coach said “Our back four, led by Brooke was excellent tonight.”
The Hawks manager had hoped having the wind at Bartlett’s back in the last 40 minutes would help.
“We tried to use the wind to our advantage in the second half,” Revak said. “Some of (goalkeeper) Megan Kron’s punts actually almost led to assists but unfortunately things didn’t quite work out the way we wanted to.”
Both coaches agreed midfield play was another key.
“Our mids kept (Streamwood) away from dangerous areas. Mia Lamz and Sophie Melochie, both freshmen, stepped up tonight,” said Revak. “Mia played nearly the entire game, and Sophie came in and helped us in the attack. Those two did a wonderful job.”
Melochie came off the bench to replace Daisy Sarmiento near the end of the first half.
“It was unfortunate to lose Daisy with a little bit of a pull in the first half,” the Hawks’ coach said. “But the good news is, despite who we put in, we didn’t lose much.”
Senior Gianna Imperatrice was also crucial to Bartlett’s midfield.
“She is a force to be reckoned with in the middle,” noted Revak.
“It was kind of the midfield battle,” concurred Criswell. “But there weren’t a ton of opportunities.”
“Daniela, we call her Danny, Sanchez, and Dayanara Huerta were standouts today. They held our midfield together,” Criswell continued “Combined with Emma Skrgic, the three of them did really well to maintain some possession in the middle and get some momentum for us.”
Streamwood’s best opportunity to break the deadlock came halfway through the second half on Jasmine Figureoa’s close-in shot, but she was unable to push it past Kron.
Bartlett now has a 20-game unbeaten streak in the Upstate Eight Conference. The Hawk’s last league loss was in 2019 (the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID). Bartlett finished with an 8-0-1 circuit record in both 2021 and 2022.
In the past, Glenbard East has been the thorn in Bartlett’s side. The Rams are the last Upstate Eight team to beat the Hawks and are responsible for the two ties.
“It’s been a couple of seasons since we’ve dropped a conference match,” Revak said. “Two ties against Glenbard East are only are our only black marks and today, so hopefully the rest of (the conference matches) will be wins.”
Wednesday was Streamwood’s second match of the season The Sabres beat Dundee-Crown 1-0 Tuesday, Criswell already noted an improvement in team play.
“I think they put up a good effort. They had a ton of improvement over yesterday. Overall kind of happy with the trajectory that we are headed in,” said the Streamwood coach. “Credit to Bartlett. There are some adjustments we can make getting used to the style of play that I’m trying to trying to implement. If we do that, we’ll produce more opportunities.”
GK: Megan Kron
D: Macy Medendorp
D: Ariss Kroeger
D: Breanna Baumann
D: Brooke Baumann
M: Daisy Sarmiento
M: Mia Lamz
M: Lizzie Dzielski
F: Grace Johansen
F: Viviana Alba
F: Gianna Imperatrice
GK: Selina Chavez
D: Alondra Mendoza
D: Alexandra Landi
D: Jessica Rosales
D: Sharon Salazar
M: Emma Skrgic
M: Dayanra Huerta
M: Kim Carreto Duran
F: Sophia Colula
F: Reyna Saldivar
F: Milanie Martinez
Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Selina Chavez, sr., GK, Streamwood