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Game story: Columbia has New Trier's number, again

By Keith Schildroth, 03/29/24, 11:45PM CDT


Host Eagles upset Trevians with 1st-minute goal

COLUMBIA -- If fans attending the New Trier and Columbia game Friday morning were still trying to find a seat, checking the menu at the concession stand, texting friends or visiting various locations on the information superhighway during the first minute of the match, they missed all the scoring excitement.

Columbia freshman forward Sarah Ross took a quick pass from midfielder Riley Mathews near the New Trier goal mouth and flicked a shot past keeper Annie Fowler.

The Ross goal held up as the Eagles defeated previously unbeaten New Trier 1-0. New Trier, the no. 4 club in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25 will head into Saturday’s match at Belleville West with a 4-1-0 record. Columbia, the fifth-ranked 5 team in the Chicagoland Soccer Illinois 10 poll, improved to 7-0-1.

“This is a really big step for us, because New Trier is a really good team,” said Ross. “We definitely played until the end and gave it everything. It will help us moving forward. We have good chemistry together.”

New Trier coach Jim Burnside said he was disappointed with his club’s effort.

“It doesn’t matter when it comes,” said Burnside. “One let down, and they work hard and take advantage of their opportunities, and we didn’t. We did not take care of business today. That’s 100 percent us as coaches not getting them ready to do that. 

“We did not take care of business, and they put pressure on us. They did a good job of running through balls, and we did not. They did a good job of defending hard, and we did not. They did a good job of managing the game, and we did not. Kudos to them.”

New Trier midfielder Annie Paden said the early goal was a new experience for her and her teammates.

“It just sucks,” said Paden. “A goal like that in the first 30 seconds is something that we ourselves try to do. When it happens to us, especially the first goal of the season against us this season, it kind of rattled us first half. We couldn’t connect. We couldn’t score.” 

Columbia had limited opportunities to score during the entire game. After the early goal, New Trier held the majority of the possession and had a variety of good scoring-opportunities.

Columbia junior keeper Jessica Bearley, the Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match, was tested the entire game. However, she didn’t bend or break.

“They had a lot of chances. And to be honest, I don’t really know how I got to them,” said Bearley. “A lot of them were very good attacks on their part. A few were some defensive freakouts on our part. But the way that our defense was able to regroup and come back on those and have my back whenever I needed them, I think we did really well as a team today.”

Ten minutes into the first half, the New Trier offense started to click and create confusion for Columbia. Trevian defender Basie Shannon just missed with a blast from the top of the box.

The visitors had success moving the ball down the left side and briefly exposed Columbia’s backfield, but they could not convert. Midfielder Annie Paden had her way down the left side and just missed twice at the far post.

Shannon kept the Columbia defenders busy by threatening from the top of the box on two more attempts, but the shots just missed the target.

Forward Jamie Elias might have had the best scoring chance of the half when she fired to the far-right post, but Bearley was on-point and pushed the shot out of danger.

Bearley said she does not hesitate coming off her line or challenging the opposition on dangerous crosses whether in the run of play or off free kicks and corner kicks.

“I don’t mind it,” said Bearley. “It’s definitely a little more nerve-racking than other parts of the game, but it’s something I’ve got to do. Things like that are more on my positioning. I think I like to have my post covered. 

“I noticed early on they liked to drive the corner, and they were cutting in and were trying to get me on the post. Being on the post is one of my favorite positions, because I only have one way to go.”

New Trier kept applying the pressure in the final 10 minutes of the half. Bearley stopped a good scoring-chance on a powerful header from Shannon, which she followed with another dangerous attempt.

“Pressure doesn’t win games,” said Burnside. “Pressure is a great thing. But if you don’t have the finishing touch, and you don’t connect, it doesn’t matter.”

New Trier defender Honor Dold said her club scrambled somewhat trying to get back into the game.

“I think we really tried to come out harder in the second half because of our first half being down,” said Dold. “I think we were a little bit out of our regular rhythm, and we were really trying to take it at them. 

“But we were having trouble with possession, and that was not really reflecting our level of play or kind of our style of play. When we play at home or in the past, we’ve always been able to connect more. We had a lot of opportunities, especially in the first half, and we’re just sorry that we didn’t finish.”

Dold said she felt responsible for the Columbia goal. She had a chance to disrupt the play as it was forming.

“I 100 percent take that to heart,” said Dold. “I take accountability for that goal. I should have let that ball go out of bounds or hit that out. I’ll carry that the rest of the season. A loss is something that we take very seriously around here. Even a tie. This is something that will be a motivating factor the rest of the season, so that it doesn’t happen again.”

New Trier continued to apply the pressure in the second half. Midfielder Charlotte Dellin sent a strong cross to the Columbia goal that Bearley smothered. Dellin was right back with another dangerous chance to the short side that the Eagles keeper kicked wide.

Freshman midfielder Addy Randall might have had the best scoring chance in the closing minutes when she had a near-miss from inside the box.

“Getting to play in this type of game was great, because the intensity was so high. It really motivated me to keep going,” said Randall. “I’m sad that I missed that chance. Playing with these players, they’re so good and so intense. It’s different from club ball. We really want it here. It just motivates me to work harder.”

Columbia coach Jamey Bridges said the victory is a good building-block for the season.

“This is the third year they’ve been down here,” said Bridges. “We’re a Class A school, and they’re a big school (Class 3A), so we always just see where we are. Two years ago we won, and last year we lost late. We knew they’re really good in the air. We worked on that after last year. 

“For us, momentum-wise, if anything just giving us confidence and know that we can play and contend. Up until this point, we haven’t had much competition, couple conference games and same thing next week. This was a good test for us.”

Starting lineups

New Trier
GK: Annie Fowler
D: Kennedy Cosgrove
D: Clara Deliduka
D: Basie Shannon
D: Honor Dold
MF: Sybil Evans
MF: Addy Randall
MF: Annie Paden
MF: Charlotte Dellin
F: Josie Noble
F: Jamie Elias

GK: Jessica Bearley
D: Avery Ellner
D: Ava Schmidt
D: Ella Fromme
D: Emily Rose
MF: Reese Woelfel
MF: Riley Mathews
MF: Lucy Leitschuh
MF: Sydney Meanor
F: Maddie Mauch
F: Sarah Ross

Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Jessica Bearley, jr., GK, Columbia

Scoring summary

First half
C: Sarah Ross (Riley Mathews), 1’

Second half
No scoring