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Game story: Glenbrook South's Murray steps up against Stevenson

By Rusty Silber, 04/03/24, 5:00PM CDT


Senior breaks free for 3-2 win in ranked battle


By Rusty Silber 

GLENVIEW -- Having taken some time off from the prep pitch could have hurt Stevenson and/or Glenbrook South. However, it seems, spring break didn’t faze these talented teams a bit.

Instead, their annual nonconference matchup was a good fit before starting conference play. And the pair didn’t let the inclement weather and/or the wind spoil their evening. 

Host Glenbrook South (5-1-0) knocked past Stevenson 3-2 Tuesday night. It the teams’ recent series, the victory was the first for the Titans in the four matches played since 2021.

Senior forward Megan Murray scored the game-winning goal and set up another to earn Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match honors. Earlier goals from Adyson Clemen and Chloe Beach each gave Glenbrook South a lead. 

When the Titans, ranked fifth in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25, needed a deciding goal, Murray came through. The 66th-minute strike on a breakaway would be right at home on a highlight reel. 

"Avery Splear played a great through-ball behind the defenders," said Murray, who has collected two goals and seven assists on the season. "I found myself 1-v-1 with the keeper. I took a touch around the keeper and slotted it with my left foot. I thought this was a good one. I was so happy, because I was waiting for that pass the entire time." 

Murray, a University of Denver recruit, sees special attributes in her team and how it has come together with a similar vision. 

"I think our mentality is great, and we've got this championship mindset," Murray said. "All of us want to win really bad. We worked really hard during the preseason; we continue to work really hard in every game. We want to level up."

This match allowed Glenbrook South a chance to see where it fits in the hierarchy of teams.

"Stevenson was one of the best teams we've played so far," Murray said. "It was a good game before we start the conference schedule. I was glad that we can work hard against them and get a taste of what we can see in our league." 

The enthusiasm at Glenbrook South is not reserved to the players.

"It's really exciting when you beat a really competitive team like Stevenson," first-year coach Cassidy Price said. "Stevenson came out and played really tough against us -- made some great adjustments at half. They had us in some tough situations that we looked a bit confused off the ball. 

“We played our game; we persevered. A couple of goals went in against us and a couple of goals went in for us. At the end of the day, it's awesome because none of these girls in the program have never beaten Stevenson."

Price, a 2017 graduate and former player at Glenbrook South, enjoys a daily dose of déjà vu during the season.

"For me, it brings back a lot of passion for the program," Price said. "I know what it did for me as a player. I want to give it back. I always tell people that I want to give them an experience that they can tell their college roommate about. I played high school soccer, and it was a great experience. 

“My coach cared about me. For me, I loved it, and I just try to give it back to them, to put my heart and soul into it."

Glenbrook South got on the board first Tuesday night. Clemen connected on 30-yard free kick in the sixth minute.

Stevenson all-stater Elle Egeland tied the match at 1-1 in the 17th minute. Teammate Sami An beat a Glenbrook South defender and sent a bouncing cross from the left side that the Maryland commit deposited.

Murray set up the second Titans' goal with a cross of her own. After the ball was deflected in front of the goal, Beach put a foot on it to make it 2-1 in the 34th minute. 

Egeland evened the match again in the 47th minute with a 35-yard free kick that curled into the goal for the no. 19 Patriots (3-2-0). 

"I think the team sets me up to score these goals," said Egeland, who notched her ninth and 10th goals on the season. "It's the best experience, and I have a lot of fun doing it. This has been a big rivalry in the past few years. Glenbrook South has played some even games, and we were lucky enough to win the other ones in the past years."

Stevenson failed to answer their hosts a third time on the scoreboard.

"It was tough, since (Glenbrook South) caught us off the free kick in the first half," Stevenson coach Jay Bulev said. "We just had to fight back for a couple of times during the game."

Glenbrook South has a very competitive group. The Titans should contend for the conference crown in the uber-strong Central Suburban League South Division.  

"I like what I see in the midfield, because everyone wants to put the work in," said Splear of her peers in the center of the park. "We put in 110 percent at all times. I think it contributes to the team as a big deal. Without them it would be much harder out there."

As the team continues to bond, it makes them better each time out on the pitch.

"There's a lot of chemistry," Splear said. "We've got all of the same goals and a lot of the same mindset. That brings us all that much closer. We're all willing to put in the work. Even off the field, we like to hang out. We're only going to get better." 

Starting lineups

GK-Reese Yoo
D-Grace Harper
D-Anabelle Egeland 
D-Chloe Robinson
D-Alexa Karagiannis
D-Neta Peregoudov
MF- Madison Olsen
MF-Emma Mendoza
MF-Sami An
MF-Ashley Liang
F- Elle Egeland

Glenbrook South 
GK-Lyndsey Mack
D-Emily Schultz 
D-Adyson Clemen
D-Layla Galat
MF-Lauren Koopersmith 
MF-Sophie Piekarski
MF-Madison Wessell
MF-Leila Skoulikaris
F-Claire Baim
F-Jackie Milott 
F-Chloe Beach

Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Megan Murray, sr., F, Glenbrook South

Scoring summary

First half
GBS: Clemen, (free kick), 6'
S: Elle Egeland (An), 17'
GBS: Beach (Murray), 34'

Second half
S: Elle Egeland (free kick), 47'
GBS: Murray (Splear), 66'