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Game report: Schaumburg 3, Conant 0

By Mike Garofola, 04/20/24, 11:15PM CDT


After back-to-back 8-8-1 seasons, Schaumburg has taken off this spring under new manager Tracy Serafini.

The former Saxons star who still holds the program goal-scoring lead with 72, celebrated yet another victory Friday night with a 3-0 Mid-Suburban League win over visiting Conant, which was unable to solve the Saxons backline and keeper Sophia Dietz.

"We've struggled all season finishing our chances and tonight was no different," said Cougars manager Jeff Melone, whose club now sits at 5-5-1 overall and 2-4-1 in the conference.

"Both keepers were great tonight. Our keeper Annabel Danso enjoyed her best overall game of the season. On the other side, (Dietz) was great when she needed to be."

While Conant suffered its fourth shutout loss of the season, the Saxons (9-4-0, 6-2-0-18 points) enjoyed their sixth clean-sheet victory of the year. The offense came from Grace Martin, Emily Carlos and Caroline Chalberg, who converted her 14th goal of the season on a 79th-minute PK.

"The team gets along so well, both on and away from the field," said Serafini, who was a longtime assistant to former manager Greg Chavrat, who retired following the 2022-2023 school year. “That, with us having some terrific balance on our roster of young and experienced players, has led to us having the type of atmosphere that has led to our success thus far.”

Conant played without backline stalwart Claire Husnick, who suffered an injury this past week. Veterans Cat Abbott, Reese Staniak and Amani Urban were on hand to turn in a solid performance.

"We miss having Claire back there with us, but we still have a great backline that has the experience of playing together which has helped us stay in most of our games," said Staniak.

The Cougars conceded the opener in the 14th minute when Martin finished a lovely helper from Jorie Carr. She joined the team from club ball, and leads the Saxons with eight assists after recording two on a windy night in Schaumburg.

Conant’s best chances over the 80 minutes usually came when the ball found the freshmen duo of Vivian Brand and Gabby Coyne, and senior Sophie Dobrincu, who has bagged 23 goals and 21 assists in her prep career and has been recognized twice as an all-MSL player.

"Sophie is nowhere near 100 percent. She's been dealing with an injury all season long, but as you saw tonight, she is so dangerous and is just an absolute beast when the ball is on her foot," said Melone.

Both Coyne and Dobrincu had a chance on frame in the first half. Dietz made a valiant save on Dobrincu 10 minutes from time to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.

A sublime finish from Emily Carlos gave the senior her 10th goal of the season in the 48th minute and doubled the Saxons advantage.

"This team is always working hard to be better," said Carlos, a converted outside back and four-year varsity player who will join the Army after graduation.

Conant’s Coyne went over the bar when put through by Megan Ferengul, Avery Connelly and Dobrincu in the 59th minute. Conant cheered keeper Danso when she made a sensational save minutes later on a wicked cracker from Chalberg.

"We did a lot of good things in the second half with our attack, but we just were not good enough in the final third to finish any of the chances we created," opined Staniak.

Next for Conant is league rival Prospect on April 24. A nonconference tilt at Streamwood is next up for Schaumburg on April 22.