By Bill McLean
DES PLAINES — Maine West senior defender Shannon Walsh and Deerfield sophomore forward Ryane Emory had no intention of hopping together on one foot in the final minute of Tuesday night’s Central Suburban League North Division matchup at Maine West.
But neither had a choice. In an unusual and comedic moment, Walsh’s right bunny-loop shoelace snagged the bottom of Emory’s left boot. The connection left both hopping in unison as each tried to extricate herself.
“We were dancing,” the Wisconsin-Oshkosh bound Walsh cracked.
The all-tied-up scene was fitting. The pair of Warriors settled for a 4-4 stalemate in windy, cold conditions atop the stadium’s natural turf.
“It was a very entertaining game,” said Deerfield coach Rich Grady, whose club (11-3-2 overall, 3-0-1 in the CSL North) had entered the contest with a 15-1 goal differential in three division games and the no. 25 rank in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25 poll. “I was disappointed with how we defended at times, because we knew what Maine West wanted to do. We didn’t stop them.
“Crazy game,” he added. “It should have ended 6-6. They should have scored two more goals. We should have scored two more goals.”
Deerfield junior midfielder and 2022 Chicagoland Soccer All- Stater Emily Fox notched a hat-trick — in the first half. Maine West’s most productive Warrior was senior midfielder and Italian foreign-exchange student Isabella Robbiati, who scored
twice and assisted on the goal that put the hosts up 4-3 in the 72nd minute.
The pair shared the Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honor.
“We showed a lot of fight and intensity,” Maine West coach Jeff Bishop said after the tie left his crew with marks of 6-5-3 and 2-1-1. “We knew playing them would be a good test for us. It was our best game against Deerfield in three years. It was a good game, a good back-and-forth game.
“It was nice to play on our home field, with the conference title up for grabs.”
Maine West struck first, getting a goal from sophomore midfielder Monika Wieczorek in the sixth minute. Stationed just outside the top of the 18, Wieczorek booted, while turning, a ball from senior midfielder and tri-captain Ximena Acuna.
Deerfield answered a scant 55 seconds later via a Fox free kick from about 30 yards. It became 2-1 Deerfield when a hustling Fox caught up to a lengthy service from senior midfielder Simone Criz and beat Maine West senior goalkeeper Daria Szczepura (seven saves) with a 20-yard, near-post goal in the 11th minute.
Robbiati knotted it at 2-2 with a PK six minutes later. Fox converted a PK of her own in the 34th minute to cap the scoring in the first half.
“Fox is Fox,” Grady said of his high-scoring Warrior.
“I must have shouted, ‘Who’s got 8 (Fox’s jersey no.)?’ 50 times tonight,” Bishop said. “She’s a threat every time she possesses the ball.”
Deerfield had the wind at its back in the second half but scored only once.
Deerfield reserved junior Cassidy Stormoen picked a fine time to tally the first goal of her varsity career. In minute 75 she made it 4-4, three minutes after Maine West had gone up 4-3 thanks to alert action from Robbiati.
Robbiati chased down a ball to keep it alive near a sideline in Maine West’s zone. She then pivoted and fed a splendid cross to senior forward Emma Mueller, who was positioned in the middle of the box.
The first to celebrate with Robbiati was Walsh.
“That was such a great pass,” Walsh said. “It was beautiful. That’s why I ran toward her right after we scored.”
Stormoen’s 20-yard blast rolled off Szczepura’s outstretched hands and wound up keeping the visitors unbeaten in Central Suburban League North Division play.
“I’m really happy for Cassidy, especially since her first (varsity goal) was such a big one for us,” Grady said.
Grady was pleased with the way Deerfield responded to deficits Tuesday night. But the tie stung a little.
“We were too passive at times,” he said.
The coach felt much better Wednesday when his club clinched the North Division with its 3-1 win at Highland Park.
Seeded no. 2 in its AA sectional, the Warriors host Glenbrook North — ranked no. 21 in Chicagoland Soccer’s Top 25 poll — in a nonconference cross-over match at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
Maine West, seeded no. 12 in the 3A Evanston Sectional, entertains Niles West on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Maine West's Walsh, who transferred from Prospect to Maine West before the start of her sophomore year, will graduate with six varsity letters (three in basketball, three in soccer). She opted to drop cross country after her freshman year. “It was tough on my knees,” said the future nursing major. … Maine West's Robbiati, a first-year exchange student from Milan, Italy, plans to return to her homeland in early June and then complete one more year of high school. Prep players in Italy don’t play for their high schools, Maine West coach Bishop noted. “She’ll play club,” the coach added. “She’s probably our best on-ball player.” … Deerfield’s goal differential in 15 games before Tuesday night was 40-13. … Robbiati on Walsh: “She’s our wall. She gives us security.” … Shortly after Deerfield senior midfielder Sara Goldstone blocked a hard-struck ball with her upper body in the first half Tuesday night, Deerfield assistant coach Ryan Crane pounded his chest repeatedly and shouted to Goldstone, “That why we call you ‘The Rock!’”
GK Lauren Gottlieb
D Natalia Munoz
D Madeline Stevens
D Sophia Peiser
MF Simone Criz
MF Emily Fox
MF Avery Kingsepp
MF Jessie Fisher
MF Sara Goldstone
F Bella Krummenacher
F Ryane Emory
GK Daria Szczepura
D Vicky Delgadillo
D Shannon Walsh
D Giselle Cazares-Ayala
D Tais Vivar
MF Isabella Robbiati
MF Monika Wieczorek
MF Ximena Acuna
MF Natalia Vivar
F Emma Mueller
F Ola Aszurkiewicz
Chicagoland Soccer MVPs of the Match: Emily Fox, jr., MF,
Deerfield; Isabella Robbiati, sr., MF Maine West
Maine West — Wieczorek (Acuna), 6’
Deerfield — Fox (FK), 7’
Deerfield — Fox (Criz), 11’
Maine West — Robbiati (PK), 17’
Deerfield — Fox (PK), 34’
Maine West — Robbiati (Aszurkiewicz), 51’
Maine West — Mueller (Robbiati), 72’
Deerfield — Cassidy Stormoen (Kingsepp), 75’