Cruzeiro Still in the Hunt for MRL Title!
Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro continued its quest for back-to-back MRL Premier I Division championships and berths to the 2014-15 Region II Championships and the 2015-16 National League with two home games last week.
On Monday night Cruzeiro faced long-time rival Campton United in a thriller. Cruzeiro dominated most of the play and chances, but unfortunately did not close out the game when up 2-0 in the second half, and in the end Campton tied the game at 2-2 a minute and 26 seconds into injury time.
Cruzeiro had taken the lead ten minutes into the 2nd half on a great goal. The play started with Kerry Abello finding Jamie Goralski on the left flank. Jamie beat her defender down the line and delivered a perfect, whipped-in cross that Riley O’Brien steered home at the back post. Six minutes later Jamie played a great ball in-behind the Campton back-line for Kerry Abello to run onto. Just as she was about to tuck the ball away, Kerry was taken down from behind for a clear PK. The foul should also have resulted in a red card for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, but the referee did not even give a yellow card. Jordan King stepped up and confidently deposited the spot kick.
With the two goal lead Cruzeiro created a couple of other 100% chances to put the game out of reach, but instead it was Campton that got a goal with 15 minutes left in the game. The rest of the game was incredibly intense, but when the referee indicated one minute of injury time, and Cruzeiro still holding onto the 2-1 lead, it looked like the all-important three points were in the bag. However, Campton managed to make the most of the additional 26 seconds the referee added after the fact, and scored on a great strike from 25 yards out.
With the tie against Campton, Cruzeiro had to win on Sunday against the Wisconsin State Cup champions Waukesha SC, and after a sluggish start the team took control of the game. Alyssa Bombacino scored the go-ahead goal with six minutes left in the 1st half from Francesca Marconi and Claire Hensley’s assist. 15 minutes into the 2nd half Waukesha tied the game, but the Cruzeiro response was prompt. Alyssa Bombacino restored the lead with a great individual goal, and Mia Marconi got the insurance goal all within five minutes of the Waukesha goal. This time the Cruzeiro players held onto the two goal lead and secured all three points.
With the win Cruzeiro moved to 5-1-1 on the season, and now needs a win and a tie in its final two games to secure a spot at Regionals. Two wins are needed to win the MRL Premier I Division and secure an automatic berth into next year’s National League. The first game is this Saturday at 1pm at Commissioners Park against FC United.