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Lake Park rally doesn't hold up against Addison Trail

By Jared Birchfield, 05/07/23, 10:45AM CDT


Visiting Blazers convert on rare chance, post 3-2 nonconference win

ROSELLE– Addison Trail scored its first goal Saturday on a rarely awarded play. Officials gave the Blazers an indirect free kick in the penalty box late in the first half after Lake Park committed an infraction inside the 18.

That ensuing score was a big part of Addison Trail’s 3-2 nonconference win.

With 11:17 left in the first half, Ingrid Valbuena began the restart from 15 yards while even with the right goal post after the Lancers’ goalkeeper was whistled for touching the ball right after a pass from a teammate. With the entire Lake Park team lined up in front of her, Valbuena tapped it over to Natalie Lupa, who was in front of the left goal post. The junior forward knocked it in.

“She didn’t realize who passed it and picked it up,” first-year Lake Park coach Caroline Kilrea said of the mishap. “It was an indirect kick in the box. Those are crazy. There’s never really a good way to go about defending those. We tried our best to defend. It was unfortunate, because without that goal, it would have been a 2-2 tie. That’s the way I’m going to think about it.

“In the first half we really struggled to connect the ball, find space, find feet specifically and be first to the ball,” the Lancers coach said. “At halftime (assistant) coach (Mike) Taylor and I just told the girls that it was up to them. We have to come out and win this half. 1-0 is the worst lead to have at half, because whoever gets the first goal has the momentum, and it was true.”

After the halftime break, host Lake Park (5-13-0) found its mojo. The Lancers work clicked with consecutive goals for a 2-1 lead.

The first came in the 54th minute when Peyton Sarubbi tied scored from just outside the goal box.

“It was kind of a messy cross from Cora (Riter), and I got a foot on it and tipped it in,” Sarubbi said.

Lake Park went in front on Francesca Cali’s goal four minutes later, with 22:31 left in regulation.

“I think in the second half we definitely picked it up,” Cali said. “We all kind of got a boost of energy after getting our first goal. After the second goal, we really got organized.”

Cali corralled Madi Minturp’s throw-in from deep in the Lancers’ side of the pitch and dribbled up the sideline before connecting from 10 yards.

“Madi had a throw-in, and we always try to go long with her throws, because they’re really good,” said the junior. “I went down line, went past their outside back and just put it in the back of the net.”

Cali, usually a midfielder, filled in at forward.

“We were missing one of our starting forwards today,” Kilrea said. “We were trying different people up there in that role including Francesca. Overall, they worked really hard. They focused on their shape. We were in Addison Trail’s defensive side for a lot of the time in the second half.

“Francesca worked hard from start to finish. She had a lot of opportunities to score, tried to finish those opportunities. She even put one in the back of the net. On the goal, she beat two defenders.”

Cali’s play in the top third earned her Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honors.

Overall, the coach was happy with her backline.

“I think the defense played pretty well. There were a couple of lapses in it, which Addison Trail was able to able to see and utilize,” said Kilrea. “But we have a strong defensive line, and they’ve saved us a lot this year. We really focus on working the ball out of the back, and they are more comfortable with that.”

Kilrea is particularly pleased with senior defender Gianna Kubica.

“Gianna stands out. She’s one of our most consistent players and one of our strongest defenders,” the Lancers manager said. “We can always count on her too to clean stuff up, work hard and help us out.”

Lake Park’s joy for its lead goal lasted only a minute. Addison Trail’s Brianna Gutierrez retied the match with a shot that bounced across the goal line in the 59th minute.

Lupa’s second returned the lead to the Blazers (8-4-2) for good in the 68th minute.

“It felt great,” Lupa said about her go-ahead goal. “Ingrid got the ball at the top of the 18. She passed it to me, and I shot it in the upper 90.”

Addison Trail made the most of Lake Park miscues.

“We got the first goal and then the second but a couple of lapses in the defense and Addison Trail was able to capitalize on that. I’ll hand it to them they took a couple of shots and two of them went in,” Kilrea said “I think they probably had five or six shots and to have half of them go in, that percentage is pretty high. I’ve got to credit them on that.”

Addison Trail coach Sergio Nunez praised his youth for the comeback. Four of the Blazers starters are underclassmen.

“Definitely our young starters made the difference,” Nunez said. “We have six freshmen on the team. And they are a great foundation for our team. They are the ones that keep the team solid together.

“Defensively we held our own. I think we dominated in our midfield with Brianna,
a freshman, and Ingrid. Up-top we have two killer strikers in (freshman) Rubi (Hernandez) and Natalie. They know how to shoot and how to put the ball in the net. They executed, and they capitalized on Lake Park mistakes.”

Lake Park’s midfield is still developing.

“Our center mids, Cora and Brynn (Ellenbecker) are two girls that have never played midfield before this year, so it’s a work in progress,” she said. “But the improvement I have seen since the the first game that we put them in there until now is incredible. I think they are just getting better and better.”

Starting lineups

Addison Trail
GK: Katelyn Truong
D: Monserat Abarca
D: Madeline Beltran
D: Jaqueline Cadena
D: Nayeli Diaz
M: Brianna Gutierrez
M: Ingrid Valbuena
M: Brithany Mondragon
M: Luz Hernandez
F: Natalie Lupa
F: Rubi Hernandez

Lake Park
GK: Ava Garcia
D: Gianna Kubica
D: Madi Mintrup
D: Juliana Selvaggio
D: Peyton Sarubbi
M: Lauren Malone
M: Peyton Olinski
M: Cora Riter
M: Brynn Ellenbecker
M: Milana Positano
F: Francesca Cali
F: Ava Ramirez

Chicagoland Socer MVP of the Match: Francesca Cali, jr., F, Lake Park

Scoring summary

First half
AT: Natalie Lupa (Ingrid Valbuenna), 29th minute

Second half
LP: Peyton Sarubbi (Cora Riter), 54th minute
LP: Francesca Cali, 58th minute
AT: Brianna Gutierrez (Ingrid Valbuena), 59th minute
AT: Natalie Lupa, 68th minute