WHEATON — Moonlighting Margaret Andrzejewski emerged as a bright spot for St. Francis in her varsity debut Tuesday night.
The freshman forward competes for the Spartans’ varsity track and field team (1,600 meters, 3,200-meter relay) and JV soccer team this spring.
St. Francis varsity coach Jim Winslow promoted Andrzejewski and other JVers to the parent club ahead of the match with visiting St. Edward on Tuesday.
Andrzejewski — an all-state cross country runner, after
finishing in 22nd place last fall at the AA state meet at
Detweiller Park in Peoria — delivered on another big stage,
scoring a goal and providing an assist in the second half of a 4-0 victory at Kuhn Memorial Stadium.
“Came here to play after track practice today,” Andrzejewski
said after the Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division opener for both schools.
Had the game taken place decades ago, “Supergirl”
Andrzejewski would’ve used a phone booth to change into her soccer kit.
“Margaret did awesome,” said St. Francis junior midfielder
Sophia Roszkowski, who scored a pair of unassisted goals in
the first half in balmy, breezy conditions. “She has so much
“It was great to see Margaret execute the way she did tonight.”
Andrzejewski recorded her first varsity point via an assist in
the 50th minute. Her cross found freshman midfielder Molly
Marks, who blasted a shot from just outside the top of the 18.
About 15 minutes later, a shot by St. Francis freshman
midfielder Sasha Roszkowski glanced off the hands of St.
Edward freshman goalkeeper Breanna Epoungue and bounded toward an alert Andrzejewski, who chipped a back-post shot over the 5-foot-10 keeper from about five yards.
“It was cool to score,” said Andrzejewski, whose sister Clare
Andrzejewski, a sophomore midfielder, started for St. Francis on Tuesday, and whose brother Sam, a St. Francis senior, cheered from the stands.
“It’s cool,” she continued, “to be a part of a team that’s so
Winslow deployed many from the junior varsity team Tuesday because his side was in the middle of a brutally tough stretch where they were scheduled to play seven games in 10 days.
To alleviate some of the stress, St. Francis rescheduled its April 13 game against Timothy to May 1.
In addition, three varsity members, junior forward and Austin Peay State University recruit Paige Chrustowski, junior forward Ellie Bielenda and freshman forward Macie Schweiner, sat out with injuries.
“Our schedule finally lightens up next week,” Winslow said.
“We’ll get to breathe again, practice and get back in a rhythm.”
Roszkowski’s first goal against St. Edward (1-6-1, 0-1-0) was all her. She dribbled and slithered around midfielders and defenders for close to 40 yards before poking a smart, far-post five-yarder past Epoungue in the eighth minute.
The ball appeared to be super-glued to Roszkowski’s wheels at various points of the lengthy journey.
“I love the ball at my feet,” she admitted. “I also love setting my teammates up.”
“Sophia,” Winslow said, “plays with the ball at her feet
probably more than any player I’ve known. But sometimes she stops when she shouldn’t. Once you get going, you have to keep going. That’s what you have to do in order to play at the next level, and I believe Sophia will do that.”
Roszkowski made it a 2-0 match in minute 33 with another
unassisted tally. The far-post 22-yarder secured her brace in
the first half.
For giving the hosts a two-goal cushion, Roszkowski earned a share of Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honors with Epoungue, who stopped 12 shots, which included a PK attempt in the 74th minute. She played brilliantly and fearlessly a day after absorbing a 14-0 loss to Elgin.
This is the freshman keeper’s first year of organized soccer.
“Bre was phenomenal today,” St. Edward coach and 1991
alumnus Tim Brieger said. “She loves it, loves playing goalie. She dances around out there. She’s fun to watch, and she’s sweet.
“Yesterday she was shell-shocked,” the coach added. “It was
nice to see Bre compete the way she did today.”
Epoungue critiqued her effort Tuesday night.
“I’d give myself a 3 (on a scale of 1-5),” the tough grader said. “I need to work on some things, like my footwork.”
Winslow stopped Epoungue in the post-match handshake line to deliver praise.
“Great job, keep,” Winslow said after his club improved to 3-3-0, 1-0-0.
Winning goalkeeper Hannah Blaha, a St. Francis senior, made two saves. St. Edward junior forward Frankie Wojtas — the Green Wave’s lone club player (Fox Valley Strikers) — struck her team’s first shot-on-goal in the 33rd minute.
St. Francis is right back at it when it hosts Naperville North, which is ranked no. 22 in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25 rankings, at 6 p.m. Wednesday (April 12). It's the Spartans and Huskies final Group B game of the 5th annual Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Classic.
St. Francis is 0-2-0 in the tourney; Naperville North is 1-1-0.
St. Edward entertains Immaculate Conception on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Longtime Illinois High School Association soccer official Gene Mroz, 75, worked as the AR1 of the St. Edward-St. Francis match Tuesday night. He plans to retire after this season. The Geneva resident officiated at a combined 11 boys and girls state finals in his 43 years with the IHSA. He refereed games involving former Wheaton North (Class of 2005) goalkeeper Christie (nee Ernst) O’Bryan, who served as an AR with him Tuesday night. O’Bryan played college soccer at Wartburg (Iowa), where she earned All-America honors. Mroz, also a keeper, said he tried out for the original Chicago Sting and was one of the professional team’s final cuts. … St. Edward coach Tim Brieger, on his club losing to Elgin 14-0 Monday: “Not sure why Elgin felt it was necessary to score 14 goals.” … Last fall, St. Francis freshman Andrzejewski became the first Spartans girl to earn all-state cross country status since Kate Roback finished in 18th place at the 2012 state meet. … St. Francis’ Winslow relished the opportunity Tuesday night to let reserve senior back Libby Culver take a PK in the 74th minute. She did not score, but that took nothing away from the moment for the player or coach. “I enjoyed seeing her in that situation,” Winslow said. “She’s an awesome kid. She’s beloved by her teammates.”
GK Breanna Epoungue
D Morgan Lutzow
D Isabella Buono
D Lizzy Leadley
D Lauren Menendez
MF Taylor Kapetan
MF Amelia Davis
MF Jordin Sauls
F Charlie Franquelli
F Frankie Wojtas
F Annaly Soto
GK Hannah Blaha
D Alyssa Suriano
D Lexie Bauer
D Ada Suriano
MF Clare Andrzejewski
MF Shannon Brown
MF Sophia Roszkowski
MF Carley Sitar
F Megan Maertens
F Ella Wozniak
F Elise Ward
Chicagoland Soccer MVPs of the Match: Sophia
Roszkowski, jr., MF, St. Francis; Breanna Epoungue, fr., GK, St. Edward
Referees: Manou Chahmirzadi (center); Gene Mroz (AR1);
Christie O’Bryan (AR2)
SF — Roszkowski (UA), 8’
SF — Roszkowski (UA), 33’
SF — Molly Marks (Margaret Andrzejewski), 50’
SF — Andrzejewski (Sasha Roszkowski), 65’