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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.”