Successful Week for Santos!
Team Chicago Academy-Santos continued its U13 MRL First Division league play with two convincing wins over Strikers FC (WI) and Croatian Eagles (WI).
On Saturday afternoon Santos started off a little slow while getting used to the field conditions. As play continued Santos started dominating possession and midway through the first half took the lead on a play where Sophia Majher broke down the defense and fed Darby Wade, who after getting denied by the keeper on her first attempt on goal, continued and finished her rebound. From there, the goals started to pour in with Sophia Majher, Natalie Massa, Grace Barz, and Yanna Papoutsis all scoring to close out the half up 5-1. Three of the last four goals were unassisted, but he 5th goal came off a great run made by Tamara Hernandez, who beat her defender end line to serve a perfect ball back to Yanna Papoutsis who finished her chance first time.
The second half was similar to the first in terms of dominating possession and Santos added two more goals to close out the game 7-1. Both goals were well taken with Natalie Massa receiving a ball from Yanna Papoutsis in the middle third of the field, and then driving to goal before unleashing a great finish to the upper left corner from outside the box. The last goal was off a perfectly placed corner from Sophia Majher who found Nikki Coryell on a diving header.
On Sunday, Santos played Croatia Eagles in its second game of the weekend and came away with a 4-1 win. The first half saw Santos starting to build on ideas from the first game of the weekend and creating a number of chances from great build up play. Finally after several chances, Natalie Massa played a great ball into Sophia Majher who dribbled past two defenders and then past the keeper to slot the ball in the corner. Sophia added another goal shortly after when she followed up on a shot by Darby Wade that the keeper mishandled and very opportunistically poked the ball past the keeper. The Eagles fought hard to get one back to close out the half 2-1.
Coming out of the half, Santos continued to create opportunities and found the back of the net again off a great run by Brooke Lipscomb. Brooke beat her defender going toward the end-line and found Sophia Majher, who hit her shot first time. The goalkeeper made a diving save that pushed the ball into the path of Julia O’Dekirk, who finished first time. Santos closed out the scoring off a corner by Tamara Hernandez, which found Grace Barz whom chested the ball down to Darby Wade, hitting a great ball to the far side netting.
Great results for Santos and great effort by the entire team.
On Tuesday night Santos followed up with a great 1-0 win in IYSA State Cup against United Soccer Academy. In a tight game where Santos created the better chances, the game-winner was created by a great end-line run by Bella Espinoza who delivered a perfect near-post cross for Darby Wade to steer in.
Strong play by Nikki Coryell in goal and the defense of Sophia Molina, Tamara Hernandez, Yanna Papoutsis, and Sam Mollenhauer secured the shut-out and the 1-0 win.
Up next for Santos will be two MRL games May 1st & 2nd in St. Louis.