Awards Night

posted Jun 8, 2014, 3:09 PM by Aaron Press

Awards night for the entire program will be Monday June 9th at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

Article from Senior Night

posted May 19, 2014, 8:50 AM by Aaron Press

By Darryl Mellema

You always know a match is important when the mascot shows up – and there was a costumed Tiger on the sidelines prior to Wheaton-Warrenville South’s regular season finale against West Aurora.

The Tuesday match was also the hosts’ Senior Night and pregame ceremonies honored the five seniors on the squad – Abbey Fuster, Caroline Holmes, Courtney Christensen, Marina Tolczyk and Alex Immekus.

“You want to have the best campaign you can have,” Wheaton-Warrenville South coach Guy Callipari said. “You want them to be able to walk away and know that the campaign that they led was a positive one – and they did everything they could to make that happen.”

Those seniors and the rest of the Wheaton-Warrenville South squad walked off Grange Field for the final competitive time in 2014 with a 2-0 DuPage Valley Conference victory.

“It felt really different walking out for the last time because you want to make it the best time ever,” Immekus said. “It was bittersweet. It was really fun but also really sad. This has been our home field for the last four years and it’s so great to go out with a win and a shutout in the last game.”

The five seniors started against West Aurora, and started the second half as well and all got considerable playing time during their final home match.

“It’s amazing to end our conference with this team and to be able to start,” Christensen said. “There’s so much adrenaline and it’s exciting. It’s bittersweet to be going but I’ve had so many amazing times playing soccer with these girls. I’m excited to go into playoffs with these girls.”

Tuesday’s win was the third straight for the Tigers, who closed the regular season 10-8-1.

“You couldn’t ask for a better result for your final game here,” Fuster said. “I would look at the clock and the time flew by and that’s a reflection of my time here. It’s been an honor to represent my school and to represent my team and hopefully help them out along the way.”

As important as the winning streak, Wheaton-Warrenville South concluded DVC play with a 5-2 record and tied for second behind champion Naperville North. The second place tie is the Tigers best conference finish since the 2010 team tied for the title with Naperville Central.
“It was more than just a game for us,” Holmes said. “It was for second place in the DVC, a chance to keep our winning streak going, to finish above .500 and to play as a team. We had to think of those things and to not think of the win before it happened.”

The team’s next match is Wednesday against Schaumburg, a 6:30 p.m. semifinal contest in the West Chicago Regional. The sectional takes place at Conant, a potential supersectional would be played at Lake Park.
That left the match against the Blackhawks as the last time the Tigers will every play at Grange Field. The seniors were introduced with their parents and had their accomplishments read by stadium announcer Pete Kania, himself a senior who was honored during Senior Night.

“It was definitely sentimental and emotional,” Tolczyk said. “It’s kind of hitting us that it’s our last game and we’re all leaving.”

There are eight sophomores on this year’s team and five freshmen – a considerable number of talented players who will represent the school in coming seasons.

“Over half our team is underclassmen, and that’s exciting,” Fuster said. “I was very nervous of the season. But it’s an arc and it can only go up, and that’s what I see. I see a bunch of girls figuring it out and maturing.”

Callipari said that while this year’s seniors were incredibly important on the field, their off-field accomplishments were even more critical.

“We have a lot of impressionable girls on the team,” he said. “Their first step is directed by the team’s leadership, and it’s got to be a good step forward. We don’t have time to go backward and then bring it back around. These seniors have been inviting, and that’s a critical part of it, making everyone feel a part of the program.”

Wheaton-Warrenville South dominated the match. Yet despite having a wide majority in possession time and holding the ball in West Aurora’s half most of the opening 40 minutes, it took the Tigers nearly 35 minutes to score.

“It’s really incredible how all four years can work together on and off the field,” Tolczyk said. “We all get along so well. It’s nice to see the seniors and the freshmen working so well together, and obviously the sophomores and juniors in-between working too.”

Tolczyk had an early chance to put the Tigers in the lead, but her shot was saved. Minutes later, Tolczyk passed to Christensen, whose shot was deflected and saved.

“We focused really well once game time came,” Tolczyk said. “There was a lot of commotion with the Senior Night awards and the little sisters. But once we got going, we got focused and got business done. That was a nice way to go out.”

Christiansen enjoyed time and space in which to create chances as well.

“My soccer career is ending after this season because I won’t be playing in college,” Christensen said. “I just come out every day loving what I do and that’s what means the most to me. I’ve had the most amazing four years playing soccer here. It’s been such a privilege to have the coaches that I have and to play with all these talented players.”

Those opening exchanges started a pattern that continued throughout the first half – Tigers pressure but a failure to find a goal.

That ended with 5:51 remaining before halftime when  Holmes scored after Erin Madigan drove through the midfield in the left channel. Madigan passed to Holmes open in the right channel, and Holmes sent a shot high into the net.

“We knew going in that we had to keep up the same intensity as we did (Monday),” Holmes said, referring to the Tigers’ Monday victory over Glenbard East. “We really worked hard. It was a big game because it was Senior Night and our last game here and we’re all really close. But it was good to get the win.”

The half finished with two more chances for the Tigers. First Rachel Conrady stabbed a shot just wide and Alexis Jakuszewski had a free kick saved.

The second half progressed much as the first until 19:15 remained and a ball in the penalty area bobbled up and hit a West Aurora player’s hand. The referee awarded a penalty kick, and Jakuszewski converted.

“Sometimes we’re inconsistent, so it was really nice to play (Monday) really well, and then come out tonight and play really, really well and connect the balls and finish on the goals that we need to finish on,” Holmes said.

Immekus moved forward with 5 minutes to play and unleashed a strong shot from the left wing that dipped mightily and forced a save.

“That was so fun, but it didn’t go in,” Immekus said. “It’s been awesome playing here. It’s changed my life. It’s given me all of the friends that I have today. It’s like this mini-community. There’s so much support and so much love. We’re not a clique at all. We’re best friends with each other. We all love each other and hang out outside of soccer with each other.”

Fuster had few strong shots to save, though the Blackhawks were often a threat through Sam O’Brien flip throw-ins. Fuster and her defense remained vigilent to the threat.

“It’s something you always have to take into consideration,” Fuster said. “I’ve played club with (O’Brien) for the past two years. It’s really exciting to see her again, but when she’s not on your team, you’re a little more nervous about those throw-ins.”

In the final minute, Fuster had to make her strongest save of the match from a Katherine Stephens shot.

Tiger Soccer at Prom

posted May 11, 2014, 12:40 PM by Aaron Press

Article from Naperville North DVC Game

posted May 9, 2014, 10:27 AM by Aaron Press

By Darryl Mellema

No question about it – Naperville North is a very good girls soccer team, and for portions of Tuesday's match with Wheaton-Warrenville South, the Huskies looked likely to swamp their visitors.

But it's a mark of how far the Tigers have come this year that they weathered most of those storms. Yes, Naperville North benefitted from an Abbie Boswell goal in each half, but Wheaton-Warrenville South had its chances too.

 Ultimately, however, Naperville North claimed a 2-0 victory that puts it into pole position to claim the DuPage Valley Conference title.

 “I told the team that I thought it was perhaps the best that they have played this year,” Wheaton-Warrenville South coach Guy Callipari said. “But it's tough competition and you can't make mistakes. When you do, those types of players will make you pay for it.”

“They can be pretty difficult, but we're a young team and we're tried to work it out,” Wheaton-Warrenville South keeper Abbey Fuster said.

 Fuster is one of five seniors on the Tigers roster, and she is working with a defense that has a pair of sophomore central defenders.

 “My center defenders did a great job,” Fuster said. “We're really starting to communicate better. Even though the results don't always show it, you can tell on the field by the way we're playing.”

 Naperville North benefitted from a series of set piece plays in the first half. Whether from free kicks near the penalty area or a succession of Abby Mangefrida corner kicks, the Huskies had the ball dangerously in the penalty area for much of the half.

 “It was kind of chaotic in there at times,” Wheaton-Warrenville South central defender Allison Harvey said. “We just have to talk more. As our season goes on, I'm know we'll get it down.”

 And when Naperville North's Alexis Dandridge broke free on the right side of the penalty area and was taken down, the Huskies had a penalty kick 15 minutes into the match. Boswell converted that kick.

 Wheaton-Warrenville South's chances were limited. Five minutes before halftime, Alexis Jakuszewski passed to Erin Madigan, whose shot was saved.

 “We withstood a lot of the pressure,” Callipari said. “Then I thought we had some nice play and transition. And for some of it, I felt we had the better of play in terms of our combination play and in terms of switching the point of attack in the attacking third.”

As the second half progressed, Wheaton-Warrenville South began to build possession and the Tigers' net wasn't under siege as it has been through much of the first half.

 “That's really exciting because it means the girls are listening to what the coaches are saying at halftime,” Fuster said. “You could tell we were getting more chances and we were working end line to end line rather than just trying to get it out of our area.”

 Sarah Burns won a number of loose balls as a defensive midfielder.

 “I was pleasantly surprised by her enthusiasm to chase down loose balls,” Callipari said. “She got in there to fight and bumped with them when she had to. She has a low center of gravity and is a very nice technical player. Her aggressive spirit served us well tonight.”

 Madigan, Jakuszewski or overlapping defender Tori Adomshick were among those who linked the play. Up top, Anna Fank moved from her central role to come wide to receive the ball.

 “Our possession in the second half was really good, especially on the outsides,” Madigan said. “We just couldn't get the ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately, our possession in the first half wasn't very good and it cost us a goal.”

 The result was some strong upfield passing moves by the Tigers, though Naperville North limited true shots on goal.

 “We're best-served when we keep the ball on the ground,” Callipari said. “I thought we had great bits of the game where we did that and carried momentum on them. But then when we gave it up, (Naperville North was) very direct and they had the horses and the stamina to get it up on us and to be successful doing so.”

 Boswell scored her second goal with 5 minutes left in the match when she broke into the left portion of the penalty area, beat a defender and snapped a shot into the right side netting.

“You have to make decisions,” Harvey said. “Boswell was really good at turning on every one of our defenders. It was challenging, but I think we played as well as we possibly could have.”

Despite Wheaton-Warrenville South's resurgence, Naperville North remained dangerous throughout the match and the Tigers' defense had to remain focused through the entire 80 minutes.

“We try to approach every match with the idea that any competitor can have an amazing day,” Fuster said.

Wheaton-Warrenville South's schedule eases a bit as it nears the IHSA tournament. The team's next match is Saturday at Wheaton Academy. The final road match of the regular season is Tuesday at Glenbard East and Senior Night is Wednesday against West Aurora. The Tigers then have a full week before their postseason opener against Schaumburg in the West Chicago Regional.

There is still much to be accomplished this season, however. Wins against Glenbard East and West Aurora would give the Tigers a 5-2 DVC record. There is still an outside chance the team could share the conference crown, but Naperville North needs only a win or tie against Naperville Central to claim the championship.

“We were talking in our team meeting that the last time a team other than a Naperville school won (the DVC) was 2000,” Madigan said. “We were just hoping to come out and get this win, and it didn't happen.”

While there is considerable parity in the DVC this year, Naperville North has been the one school to consistently gain conference victories.

“I don't think in my tenure here, and that's 23 years, that there's been a team with two losses that's won the DVC championship. It just doesn't happen. As much parity as there perhaps is, there is still Naperville North and Naperville Central with one loss, and I think the winner of that game will be the champion.”


"Voice of the Tigers" Peter Kania

posted May 4, 2014, 4:41 PM by Aaron Press   [ updated May 5, 2014, 5:02 PM ]

By Darryl Mellema

Wheaton-Warrenville South fans have come to appreciate the work Pete Kania does as the “Voice of the Tigers” soccer program for the past three seasons.

But what makes Kania's work even better is that fans of opposing teams can't find much to quibble with Kania's work announcing Tigers boys and girls matches.

Now consider that Kania is a high school senior and the quality of his work becomes even more special. In an era when many stadium announcers delve into ridiculous showmanship or extreme hometown partisanship, Kania shows how to announce for the home team and appreciate the away team as well.

“He's very talented,” Wheaton-Warrenville South coach Guy Callipari said. “He knows where the boundaries are and he does it exceptionally well.”

Kania's roots within the program. His brother Mike played for Wheaton-Warrenville South, and was a senior in Pete's freshman year.

“I would come to his games, and I came to his first game, and it was one of the dads who did the starting lineups and that was it for the game,” Kania said. “I really love talking and I've been involved in public speaking my whole life. So I went and talked to Mr. Callipari and said 'I'm Mike Kania's younger brother and wondered if I could announce for you guys.' He said we'd give it a try and he liked how it sounded and I've been doing it ever since.”

Working as the stadium announcer means committing to roughly 10 matches per season – and Kania has worked both boys and girls soccer the past three school years.

“I really like it,” Kania said. “It's a lot of fun. The girls, a lot of their friends will come to the games and so someone will say something in the halls at school about one of the comments I made in a game, and that's just really rewarding.”

While not part of the playing portion of the soccer program, Kania is very much part of the program.

“I know all the girls and all the boys on the soccer teams,” he said. “It gives me another group of people to hang around with.”

Kania admits he likes talking, but he also enjoys the “performance” aspect of being a Public Address announcer.

“I do musicals and plays,” he said. “Public speaking or singing in public, I thoroughly enjoy it. When I came up here the first time, I asked 'who does the National Anthem?' They said nobody did it, the had a CD. So I just started doing that too.”

Kania said he especially enjoys prematch announcing.

“That's when I get to welcome everybody, do the starting lineups and do the anthem,” Kania said. “That whole sequence is a lot of fun.”

Then there is his famous sign-off following every match: “I'm Pete Kania, the voice of the Tigers.”

“Just to see all the visiting parents, their reaction to this that there's a kid doing this, that's a lot of fun,” Kania said

Through his match announcing, Kania said he does try to not put down the other team, though it is apparent he loves the Tigers.

“You try to inject some humor into it,” Callipari said. “But outside of that, there's no harm and no foul in what he does. If we put one between the football uprights, it's 'three points' – and that's for us as well as for the other team and that's comfortable.”

In three years, there have been some mistakes, but Kania says those tend to be forgotten quickly.

“There was one time I mispronounced one of the boy's names,” Kania said. “I was all 'I'm sorry I did that' after the game, and he didn't seem to care. I've learned over the years that they enjoy the announcements and hearing their plays getting announced, and they don't mind if I mess up, so that's pressure off me.”

But there have been a few embarrassing moment, one of which stands above the rest.

“My sophomore year, there was a Saturday afternoon game at home,” Kania said. “I showed up to announce it and there must have been a half-dozen people in the crowd. At halttime, I'm playing music as always. 'Don't Stop Believing' comes on. I decided 'what the heck' and started singing along with it over the PA. Without me realizing it, my dad turned the music off and I continued to sing the song, so everyone got to hear my version of it.

Kania graduates this month and heads to the University of Dayton to study Business and Communications.

“I ran cross country and I was a captain for two years,” Kania said. “Besides cross country, this has been one of my big, defining moments for high school. It has really given me a chance to offer the school something no one else has offered before. I get to leave a little bit of my legacy behind.”

For this year's Senior Night Contest against West Aurora, Kania said Callipari will give him a questionnaire to complete.

“I'll be able to announce myself on Senior Night and that will be an awesome crowning moment,” Kania said.

Kania has one other job left before he graduates – find a replacement.

“I want him to seek out somebody with his ability,” Callipari said. “I told him to bring some recommendations and we'll conduct some interviews and go from there.”

Article from 4-0 Loss to Lyons Township

posted May 4, 2014, 4:23 PM by Aaron Press

In a spring where poor weather has been the norm rather than the exception, the conditions for Thursday's Naperville Invitational contest between Lyons Township and Wheaton-Warrenville South set a new low.

Cold, windy, rainy – the setting for a match at Red Grange Field was hardly ideal. Then the visiting Lions emerbged from a 0-0 halftime, scored four goals and left the Tigers 0-3 in the tournament following a 4-0 victory.

For 40 minutes, the Tigers stayed with Lyons, and could have taken a seventh-minute lead when Alexis Jakuszewski sent a leading pass to Erin Madigan, who dragged a rolling shot just wide of the right post.

While Lyons had an edge in possession through the first half, the teams entered the second half tied 0-0.

That tie lasted nine minutes before Margaret Lynch scored on a rebound. Three minutes later, Erin Fitzgerald doubled Lyons' advantage and the Tigers struggled to make inroads the rest of the match.

“At the beginning of the second half, we had momentum going,” Tigers junior Nicole Molino said. “We had a good amount of possession. But then they got the one goal and we fell back and didn't bounce back as well.”

Lyons continued to pile on the pressure and added a third goal from a Sarah Drew penalty kick with 17 minutes left. The Lions completed the scoring with Grace Salvino scored with 12 minutes left.

“I don't know, I felt like we got our heads out of the game,” Tigers sophomore Sarah Burns said. “We were playing well in the first half. But then at halftime, sitting, your muscles tense up ans we got all out of our game.”

The Tigers moved players to the varsity against Lyons, giving Tigers coach Guy Callipari 22 players from which to choose – and all got into the match.

“Our objective was to get 22 players into the match, which we did in both halves,” Callipari said. “We brought up two from the junior-varsity team and two from the freshman team. We had five freshmen on the field at some times. Doing that against that kind of team and that size of team is a baptism by fire to some extent.”

The Tigers concluded play in the Naperville Invitational with a 1-1 tie against St. Viator on Saturday. Next is a Tuesday match at Naperville North, the latest 'must win' in Wheaton-Warrenville South's quest to become DuPage Valley Conference champions.

Lyons is a strong team – both in terms of results gained through the season and with regard to the physical strength of its team members.

“It's tough playing against a really good team like that,” Burns said. “Especially with the size of their players, it's tough to play with a team like ours.”

Throughout the match, the Tigers struggled to move Lyons' players off the ball. Over the course of 80 minutes, the visitors kept play in Wheaton-Warrenville South's defensive end.

“They had thicker girls than we did,” Molino said. “We had a smaller team. I don't think they were faster than us. They were more physical and bigger and that makes it hard.”

Lyons isn't the first physical team the Tigers have played this season, and Callipari said he expected that style of play from one of the state's perenially-strong programs.

“It was a good experience because they're going to be physical,” Callipari said. “They're going to use their arms and they're going to lean on you. You've got to play faster and support each other at angles where you can release the pressure.”

The Tigers have been very busy recently – first with the PepsiCo Challenge and then the Naperville Invitational. Saturday's match with St. Viator was the team's fourth of the week, and in preparation for that morning contest, Wheaton-Warrenville South took a break from practice on Friday.

“It's nice that (Callipari) does that for us every now and again,” Molino said. “We've been nursing a good amount of injuries on the team, so it's good to have a day off. (Callipari) says it's only natural to play one soccer game a week, It's unnatural to play three or four in a week.”

Callipari said his preference would be to avoid weeks with such a heavy workload.

“No one's doing it but us in high school in this country,” he said. “I don't know who came up with the equation that they could handle it. Soccer is more designed like football where you play once a week and then you get prepared for that, or maybe two. Pro teams playing two want a deep, deep roster. And we're playing four.”

After falling in the DVC opener, Wheaton-Warrenville South knew its chance to gain at least a share of the title depended on winning the remaining six matches. Victories over Naperville Central, Lake Park and Glenbard North have allowed Tuesday;s match to rise in importance.

“We have a chance at conference now and it's really exciting,” Burns said.


Article from Varsity 6-1 Win vs. Lake Park

posted Apr 30, 2014, 10:00 AM by Aaron Press

By Darryl Mellema

In the midst of a brutal stretch of matches, the goal entering Wheaton-Warrenville South’s Monday encounter with Lake Park was to not make the match any more of a chore than it needed to be.

By scoring two goals in the opening 10 minutes and by taking a 4-0 lead by the midpoint of the first half, the Tigers more than reached that goal, ultimately taking a 6-1 DuPage Valley Conference victory in the first of four matches scheduled this week.

“I’m excited that we did get the early goal and got two by the 10-minute mark,” Wheaton-Warrenville South coach Guy Callipari said. “When were at four, I thought the game was pretty much in-hand, and all we needed to do was to see it out. Then we could get people who haven’t had a lot of playing time some playing time and to give some of those who do play a lot some rest.”

Monday’s victory ends a run of back-to-back losses at the Naperville Invitational for Wheaton-Warrenville South (6-6. 2-1 DVC.) The Tigers travel to Glenbard North on Tuesday, then return to the Naperville Invitational for a 7 p.m. Thursday contest against Lyons at Grange Field. The invitational ends Saturday.

“We needed to pick it up, and that’s what we did,” Wheaton-Warrenville South senior Marina Tolczyk said. “We want to win the DVC and we’re still in the running after winning this game.”

The goals came early for the Tigers. Alexis Jakuszewski turned the corner after taking the ball to the end line on the right wing in the fifth minute of play. Jakuszewski beat the keeper from close range.

Five minutes later, Anna Fank took an Erin Madigan pass and scored from the left side of the penalty area.

Seventeen minutes into the match, Tori Adomshick dribbled through Lake Park’s offside trap and scored. The final goal in the opening 20 minutes came in the 19th minute of play as Caroline Holmes passed to Fank, who scored.

Lake Park scored its goal from a Casey Harris free kick with 16 seconds left in the half. Harris, the Lancers’ most dangerous player, had a few chances on goal in the first half. As a team, Lake Park struggled to make inroads in the second half.

“Give Lake Park some credit,” Callipari said. “They came in with, I think, one sub, and they lost their starting keeper. They had a good fight and we needed that for our girls who haven’t played too much – to feel some pressure when they played.”

And that was a positive in that the Tigers used their bench in the second half, and those players got extended time on the pitch – many playing the entire 40 minutes.

“In high school, with unlimited substitutions, it’s sometimes difficult to get into a rhythm,” Callipari said. “It was nice to just let it go and to watch them play over the long haul. Part of that is the tactical application, and they need to be able to manage themselves through 40 minutes of non-stop play, as it was in the second half. It was a great evaluation opportunity.”

One of those players was Tolczyk, who scored 15 minutes into the half and scored again with 6 minutes left in the match.

“It was a good feeling,” Tolczyk said. “I’m not usually a starter. It’s nice to get some minutes in and to prove myself, I guess to my team and my coach. We had the ball a lot and we had more opportunities than usual. It was nice to capitalize on them.”

With a settled group playing together for most of the second half, the Tigers began to link passes as they moved toward goal. If Tolczyk’s goals were the only efforts to find the back of the net, the home team dominated possession and spent much of the half in the attacking half of the field.

Another of the Tigers who played the entire second half was freshman Emily Calloway, who worked on the right side of midfield.

“Normally I play a half of a half,” Calloway said. “Either way, it’s really fun getting on the field and making a good run or a pass and finding your way in the game.”

With a comfortable lead and plenty of possession, the Tigers worked the ball on the ground as they moved forward in a very composed performance.

“We’ve tried to possess more,” Calloway said. “Sometimes we try to possess at certain times and to play through balls at times when we need to. We’re blessed with a nice field, so it’s easy to get a good feel on the ball.”

Calloway is one of three freshmen on the team this spring. The others are Rachel Erdman and Julia Hildebrand. Add eight sophomores, and this is a decidedly youthful squad. Calloway said the upperclassmen have helped the newer varsity members adjust.

“When I found out I was on varsity, they all texted me to tell me ‘congratulations – we love to have you,’” Calloway said. “They’re welcoming and nice. It’s different coming from club. It’s nice coming together and it all being one team.”

While all areas in the team are important, the defensive midfield pairing is a particular focal point. The Tigers play with two holding midfielders in front of the defensive quartet and just behind the midfield trio. The 4-2-3-1 formation is sometimes called “The Space Invaders.”

One of the Tigers who played in the holding midfield role in the second half was sophomore Shannon Erhardt.

“It feels a lot better to be on the field,” Erhardt said. “You get to start building up momentum with each other. When you’re playing, you get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and you get to work off that.”

The interplay between the holding midfielders is crucial, and Erhardt said there is always communication going between players in that role. Through the second half, Rachel Conrady was the other defensive midfielder.

“Without communication, it would probably be a big disaster,” Erhardt said. “We have to feed off each other. I was playing with Rachel Conrady and if one of us stepped (forward), the other had to drop for her. It’s just a back-and-forth kind of a role. We supported each other and fed other well.”

Nicole Molino and Adomshick opened the match in that defensive midfield role. Whoever played in those positions Monday screened the defense and linked with the midfield as the Tigers’ many attacks took shape.

“We need to be both offense and defense,” Erhardt said. “That’s where we transition onto the other team. If we’re not on our game, they can run right through, to our back line and to our goal, more often.”

Tuesday’s match with Glenbard North looms large. While there are still difficult matches ahead for the Tigers, should they win their remaining conference matches, they will be 2014 DVC champions.

“That’s still something on our shelf as a ‘want to be’ and that’s DVC champs,” Callipari said. “Glenbard North looms as a formidable opponent, and we have to go there, so you never know.”

PepsiCo Showdown Lynn and Scott Magnesen Community Service Award Winners

posted Apr 28, 2014, 2:50 PM by Aaron Press

Tiger Soccer Proud! The Wheaton Warrenville South Girls soccer team returns from Toyota Park as winners of the PepsiCo Showdown Lynn and Scott Magnesen Community Service Award. These Girls Rock for a good cause....not surprised! Well done Abbey Fuster for putting the video together.
The Tradition Conditions....

CLICK HERE for Video Link

Article from Naperville Central Overtime Thriller

posted Apr 22, 2014, 12:02 PM by Aaron Press   [ updated Apr 22, 2014, 12:02 PM ]

By Darryl Mellema

The word “will” kept coming up after Monday’s thrilling Wheaton-Warrenville South victory over Naperville Central.

That word had been one of the focal points of Tigers coach Guy Callipari’s pregame team talk. The way the 81 minutes of play unfolded, the team needed every ounce of “will” it could muster.

Ultimately, the force of Wheaton-Warrenville South’s will paid off 18 seconds into the first sudden death overtime when Anna Fank moved past a defender, drove the ball into the net, then turned to meet her onrushing teammates in a happy huddle in the center of Red Grange Field.

“The whole game, that defender was grabbing and our coaches just told me I had to push through it and have will, which was our word for this game,” Fank said. “I just turned her fast and didn’t even fight with her. We were all determined to finish this game fast. I had the goal open, so I just took the shot.”

The DuPage Valley Conference victory was critical for the Tigers (5-4, 1-1). Having lost to Wheaton North already this season, a second loss would have severely dented hopes of competing for the conference title.

“It was a great feeling, especially because this was our second conference game,” Fank said. “We needed to win it to stay in the conference and to have a chance of winning it. We all knew we had to push through and when we saw the ball go in, we were all very enthusiastic.”

The match was a struggle for Wheaton-Warrenville South against one of the perennial powers in the DVC.  The Tigers fell behind 1-0 in the sixth minute of play when Naperville Central’s Abby Joyce moved infield and unleashed an unstoppable shot. While the Redhawks seldom threatened to add to their lead, it took Wheaton-Warrenville South time to push forward.

“We were playing well,” Wheaton-Warrenville South coach Guy Callipari said. “We were controlling the midfield and we were knocking it around. I told them to not play the clock, but to play Naperville Central, that they were in control and good things would happen.”

Eighteen minutes into the half, Erin Madigan went on a driving run into the Redhawks’ defense, and that move seemed to move the Tigers into a higher gear. Playing on the left side of the midfield, Madigan’s presence helped balance the team’s attack.

“I feel like we just got more relaxed and we were able to play the ball around their defense,” Madigan said. “Once our team gets relaxed and plays the ball and doesn’t hurry, we are able to open them up.”

As the match progressed, space began to open throughout the midfield as the distance between Naperville Central’s forwards and midfielders increased.  At the midpoint of the half, Wheaton-Warrenville South attacked with a sweeping move that began with Nicole Moline, Madigan and Alexis Jakuszewski combining with Caroline Holmes and Fank in the midfield. Eventually, Frank sent the ball to the right wing to Holmes, who crossed for Jakuszewski. Naperville Central’s defense cleared that chance – but the multi-player movement and the space allowed for that movement increased as the match progressed.

“(Callipari) changed the formation a bit and our centers were open the entire time,” Madigan said. “Once we started playing it in, we started getting shots. We were more free.”

Holmes was one whose role shifted through the match. She played as an attacking midfielder in the first half, but moved to play striker some in the second half. In both roles, she found time and space in which to move.

“(Naperville Central) is a great team, but they didn’t defend us as hard as I thought they would,” Holmes said. “We had room to turn them and play it wide. It was nice to be able to move around and to have the freedom. I’m a player who likes to be able to run. To be able to have that space to go in there was nice.”

Holmes was also dangerous from corner kicks, such as the right-sided kick she took 13 minutes before halftime that forced a goal line clearance.

As the second half progressed, despite trailing, the Tigers began to do most of the attacking. Twelve minutes into the half, Jakuszewski had a shot deflected. Minutes later, Holmes fed Fank, who shot narrowly wide.

With the midfield working into advanced positions, defenders such as right back Julia Hildebrand were able to move into attacking positions. She linked with Holmes and Jakuszewski frequently on the right wing and further pushed Naperville Central into a defensive posture.

“We knew this was going to be an intense game,” Hildebrand said. “Naperville Central’s a great team. But our word for the day was ‘will’ and I think we really pulled through with it. It’s great when we start to get space to play. I love how the team is shaping up.”

If Hildebrand moved forward, other defenders needed to remain in defensive positions, and Allison Harvey performed her central defensive role solidly. A sophomore, Harvey partnered another sophomore, Ava Fickle, in the heart of the defense in front of keeper Abbey Fuster.

“(Harvey) is so comfortable,” Callipari said. “She didn’t play the last two games. Her ankle’s been black and blue. Today, it’s better, but I was surprised with her mobility. And (Fickle) secures her. Those two qualify as a pretty good tandem centrally for us, even as young as they are. And then (left back) Rachel Erdman, despite being a freshman, doesn’t seem to be fazed in a game like this.”

Even holding midfielders such as Tori Adomshick were able to move into a more attacking role as the Tigers searched for the game-tying goal.

“They were more concentrating on (Jakuszewski) through the middle, and she was playing mainly as an offensive midfielder,” Callipari said. “Trying to get (Jakuszewski) off their best player and getting her to play higher. That left (Adomshick) with a lot of space and she had a great second half. She made some great decisions. She did less with the ball and more with the ball in terms of letting the ball do the work.”

With time beginning to become an issue, Wheaton-Warrenville South tied the match with 10 minutes left in regulation time. Rachel Erdman passed to Homes wide on the right side of midfield. Holmes sent Jakuszewski free on the right wing, then moved into the central penalty area. Jakuszewski sent the ball back to the middle toward Holmes, who scored.

“It was really difficult to go down 1-0 in the game,” Holmes said. “But we kept our concentration up. We definitely had the will to win and the desire to go for it. Even though it took us a long time, we deserved the goal that we got.”

The Tigers had chances to win the match in the final five minutes. Nicole Molino fed Jakuszewski for a strong shot; Madigan took a long shot and won a corner kick and Jakuszewski fed Madigan, who shot over the crossbar.

Then Fank scored 18 seconds into overtime and the Tigers celebrated. Wheaton-Warrenville South’s next match is Thursday against Neuqua Valley in group play in the Naperville Invitational. The teams kick off at 7 p.m. at Naperville Central. The Tigers second group match is also at Naperville Central, a noon contest on Saturday against Conant. The Tigers return to DVC action on Monday at home in a 6:30 p.m. match against Lake Park.

“We talked about how you can’t lose two games and be DVC champion,” Callipari said. “We mentioned coming into this game that, if we run the table, we still control our own destiny.”

Pepsico Round 2

posted Apr 14, 2014, 7:10 AM by Aaron Press

Varsity Soccer will play at Loyola Academy on Tuesday night (4-15-14) at 5 PM in the second round of the Pepsico Showdown.

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