The Shattuck-St. Mary’s U16 girls soccer team finished the fall portion of their Midwest Regional League season with a fury this past weekend, earning themselves two more big wins on the road in Brookfield, WI. The Sabres had four different goal scorers on the weekend, with Halie Reznik and Alyssa Hendricks doing the damage in Saturday’s game, followed by Catherine Seying and Ella Beuning scoring goals in Sunday’s finale.
Saturday saw the U16s up against Lakeshore United FC, another first-year club to the MRL program. Shattuck dug themselves an early hole, conceiting the game’s first goal just less than two minutes in. A set piece from about 40 yards out was driven into the Shattuck penalty area. The clearance wasn’t dealt with properly, and an LUFC forward pounced on the bouncing ball first to give the home side an early lead. The two teams traded chances for the remainder of the half, with LUFC narrowly missing a breakaway opportunity that caromed off the post, and Nina LeFlore rifling a near-post effort against the post for Shattuck near the end of the half.
In the second half the Sabres came to life, opening up the game with better play through their defenders and moving the ball with much more speed and purpose than they had shown the ability to do in the first half. Despite a noticeable advantage in possession and a handful of half-chances, it took until the 66th minute for Reznik to break through for the equalizer. A perfectly weighted through ball from Alyssa Hendricks was raced onto by Reznik, and she poked home the finish before the LUFC goalkeeper could get down to make the save. The goal gave Shattuck all the momentum, and seven minutes from time, they were rewarded with the lead. This time it was Reznik who assisted for Hendricks, as she hit the ball low and away from a diving LUFC goalie. The back line took it from there, as the defensive team of Patricia Wentworth, Carissa Seying, Alex Skinner, and Brooke Scheuble allowed no shots on goal in the final minutes as LUFC sent players forward in search of their second. A tired but ultimately victorious U16 team finished the game a well-deserved 2-1 winner.
On Sunday, the Sabres flipped the script from Saturday’s game in scoring the opening goal only nine minutes in against the day’s opponent, Brookfield Red. A crafty turn by LeFlore beyond her defender in tight space allowed her to drive a low, dangerous cross into the Brookfield penalty area that their defender couldn’t handle, as she directed the ball into her own net for a 1-0 Saber advantage. Not two minutes later, Catherine Seying ripped a laser beam that went back post and beyond the Brookfield goalkeeper’s outstretched arms for a 2-0 lead. Then nearing the 27-minute mark, a nice bit of combo play released LeFlore again along the right sideline. Her low, hard cross was only partially blocked and freshman Ella Beuning, who had continued her run from the weak side, finished her chance to give Shattuck a 3-0 lead before halftime.
The goal was Beuning’s first as a Sabre, and it proved to be an all-important one as Brookfield fought back in the second half to get two goals back in the final 10 minutes. Thankfully, their rally fell short as the 16s had their second win in as many days, and all six point in their final MRL weekend of the fall.
With the results from the weekend, the U16s will finish no lower than fourth in the ten-team First Division Blue standings. While the MRL season has come to a close, the 16s have three remaining games before fall break, starting with next weekend’s friendlies at home. On Friday at 6:30pm, the Sabres will welcome Minnesota Thunder Academy Premier to the Dane Family Sports Complex. Saturday, Minneapolis United will be the Sabres’ opponent, kicking off at 4:45pm inside the dome once again. The games are a part of next weekend’s Fall Friendlies lineup on campus, during which both the U17 and U18 girls will also be hosting teams. The following Thursday (11/19), the U16s will host the Rev SC U15s before taking off for Fall Break.