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Game story: Scoreless tie doesn’t leave Deerfield, Fenwick speechless

By Bill McLean, 03/17/24, 5:15PM CDT


Programs appreciate another spirited, physical battle in 3rd-straight regular-season tie

DEERFIELD — The combined distance of Fenwick senior midfielder Caroline Henige’s first three goals this spring measured to an are-you-kidding-me? 108 yards, including a 42-yard comet vs. St. Francis earlier in the week.

Deerfield senior midfielder Emily Fox notched a hat-trick in her club’s opener, too, and then, two days later, frayed the twine three more times for those who’d missed Fox’s three-mendous opening matches.

Gaudy stuff.

Fenwick and Deerfield clashed Saturday afternoon at Deerfield’s Adams Field for a nonconference game. The match-long crosswind buffeted crosses and shots and throw-ins, and nearly turned the team benches into flying, pilotless aircraft.

Alas, neither the Marquette-bound Henige nor Saint Louis recruit Fox scored in the highly anticipated matchup. But the 0-0 battle — the third-straight regular-season tie between the programs — featured all kinds of four-star moments, from gritty liftoffs for 50/50 balls to fearless disruptions on rushes to bedazzling footwork in phone-booth-tight spaces.

Friars hit the turf after collisions. So did Warriors. And more often than not, a foe extended an arm or two to assist the fallen.

“What a game, what a great high school soccer game,” Fenwick coach Craig Blazer marveled moments after shaking hands with his counterpart and good friend Rich Grady. “In an opener (his side kicked off the season with a 5-1 Girls Catholic Athletic Association Red Division defeat of St. Francis on Tuesday), there’s usually anxiety. Teams then normally showcase a higher level of play in the next game; that’s what we did today. I’m really pleased with our performance against an outstanding Deerfield team.

“I thought we matched them.”

Deerfield (2-0-1), ranked no. 42 in Chicagoland Soccer’s First 50 preseason poll, had skipped to 4-0 wins over Rolling Meadows and no. 47 Grayslake Central on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

Nearly a year ago Grady’s bunch traveled to River Forest and tied the Friars 1-1, a year after settling for a 2-2 knot with Fenwick in 2022.

The clubs squared off for a second time in ’22, with Deerfield downing Fenwick 3-0 in the Class AA third place match at North Central College in Naperville.

“It’s always a quality game, Deerfield and Fenwick,” Grady said. “It’s why I like scheduling it. It would have been fun to have been able to watch these teams play today without such a strong wind. Today’s game could have gone either way, so a tie was a fair result.”

Neither goalkeeper — Deerfield senior and Chicagoland All-State Watch List selectee Lauren Gottlieb (six saves) and Fenwick freshman Mimi Camille Carvalho (five) — had to make a spectacular stop in blustery, chilly conditions. Blame, in part, sturdy defenders for each keeper not having to dive or soar due north to protect their nets. 

Fenwick sophomore back Lola Martinez earned Chicagoland Soccer’s co-MVP of the Match honor by turning dangerous sequences into reasons to utter “Phew” (if you were rooting for the Friars) with several clears in each half. She also handled her throw-in duties with aplomb, shrugging off the incessant gusts to connect often with targets via her feathery, spot-on touch.

Senior Gabi Kapusta also thumped clutch clears for the Friars (1-0-1).

“I try my best and hope it works,” said the humble, oh-so-polite Martinez, who always thanked the ball girl for relaying the ball to her before each throw-in.

But Martinez doesn’t play soccer to flex her manners and serve as futbol’s Judith Martin, who is best known as the syndicated advice columnist Miss Manners.

“Lola is a great competitor, a true student of the game,” Blazer said of the second-year varsity booter. “She soaks up information we give her and gets better every half.”

Deerfield junior forward Ryane Emory emerged as the second half of the Chicagoland Soccer co-MVP of the Match equation. Grady shifted the Chicagoland Soccer All-State Watch List selectee to the midfield and Fox to up-top terrain in the second half, hoping the latter’s speed and dribbling wizardry would exhaust Fenwick’s defense.

“Ryane did a nice job for us in her different role after halftime,” Grady noted. “I also liked what (sophomore reserve) Lauren Jones did for us in the middle. She was feisty and competitive.”

Warriors Addison Soroka and Celeste Rivera were candid and insightful afterward. Soroka started at center back; Rivera subbed in as a holding midfielder.

“That was a very physical game,” Soroka said, adding Deerfield deploys four backs rather than the three it typically arranged in front of Gottlieb last spring.

“We focused on communication today,” Rivera said. “That includes constructive criticism and encouraging words. We all know the importance of talking. We also know not to take constructive criticism personally, because whatever’s said in the moment is going to help the player and the team.

“I’ve always liked receiving constructive criticism.”

Deerfield freshman defender Addy Margulis hustled alongside an equally determined Friar twice — once in each half — to shield the ball before it crossed the end line, resulting in a goal kick each time.

Fox’s season-opening hat-trick streak ended at two games, but she still managed to enthrall all whenever the ball was at her feet. In the first half, while darting and practically wearing a marking Friar, Fox somehow delivered a backheel cross.

The other returning Chicagoland Soccer All-Stater on Deerfield’s pitch Saturday afternoon, Fenwick senior forward and co-captain Grace Kapsch — “our ‘point guard,’” Blazer said — displayed her savvy and toughness from start to finish. Co-captain Fiona Roche, a Fenwick senior midfielder and another CS All-State Watch List pick, and Deerfield freshman midfielder Leah Cohen also played relentlessly and tirelessly.

“Back-and-forth game,” said Fenwick’s Henige, who toiled for the Friars’ state team two years ago but opted to sit out prep soccer last spring in order to devote the time necessary to earn a Division I scholarship.

“It was also competitive, physical and fast,” added the future Golden Eagle.

Deerfield hosts nonconference foe Lakes at 7 p.m. Monday. Fenwick entertains no. 32 DeLaSalle in a Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red Division match between the last two Class AA fourth place finishers at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

DeLaSalle’s Meteors topped visiting Fenwick 2-0 in a supersectional last spring to secure that program’s first state finals appearance.

Fox news, the apolitical version: Deerfield’s Fox became the leading goal-scorer in program history when she completed her hat-trick in the Warriors’ 4-0 defeat of Rolling Meadows in the season-opener Tuesday. That upped her total to 76, supplanting the mark of 75 that Kirby Wells (2004) held for nearly 20 years. Fox entered this season as the Warriors’ all-time points leader (183). She then struck for another hat-trick Thursday in Deerfield’s 4-0 defeat of Grayslake Central, boosting her numbers to 79 goals and 186 points. … The Warriors had to attend to more record-keeping after Gottlieb’s clean-sheet. Her 27th-career varsity shutout tied her for the school record with Sari Eisen (2016). … Flashback: Deerfield’s Emory scored twice in the Warriors’ 3-0 defeat of Fenwick’s Friars in the third place game at the 2022 AA state tournament. Current senior midfielder Jessie Fisher tallied the other goal.

Starting lineups

GK Mimi Camille Carvalho
D Kiera Mullarkey
D Finley Dondlinger
D Lola Martinez
D Gabi Kapusta
MF Fiona Roche
MF Mary Brunick
MF Caroline Henige
MF Susie Shank
F Grace Kapsch
F Bella Gray

GK Lauren Gottlieb
D Addison Soroka
D Natalia Munoz
D Addy Margulis
D Sam Block
MF Avery Kingsepp
MF Jessie Fisher
MF Emily Fox
MF Ruby Levy
MF Leah Cohen
F Ryane Emory

Chicagoland Soccer MVPs of the Match: Ryane Emory, jr., F, Deerfield; Lola Martinez, so., D, Fenwick

Scoring summary

First half
No scoring

Second half
No scoring