The Brookfield East girls soccer team split two nonconference games this past weekend, losing on Friday night to the Verona Wildcats in overtime (3-2) but bouncing back on Saturday with a very impressive 4-2 win over Madison West Regents.
Against Verona, the Spartans found themselves down early as the Wildcats scored two minutes into the game. However, with the return of senior captain Taylor Swittel from injury, the Spartans proved they could come back and put pressure on the Wildcat defense.
"Having Taylor Swittel back is huge for us," said coach Matt Schroeder, who was pleased to have his captain back in the lineup. "Even though her minutes are somewhat limited right now, she has had an immediate impact."
Tying it up early
The Spartans got the equalizer at the 17-minute mark of the first half, when senior captain Aly Loepfe was able to maneuver through the defense to put the ball past the diving attempt by Verona's goalkeeper to make the score 1-1. The Spartan defense kept Verona in check the rest of the half not allowing a goal in the final 20 minutes.
Loepfe struck again early in the second half when she recovered a shot off the post and put it in to make the score 2-1 at the 43rd minute of the half. After that goal, Verona took over the game and the result was a lopsided 8-1 advantage on corner kicks. Verona scored in the 53rd minute off of a corner kick, when Ashley Seymour gathered the ball in front of the net and fired it in.
The only other scoring chance came in the 65th minute when Swittel broke free and fired a shot that was just wide of the net. With that final chance, the game went into overtime.
Overtime proved to be short and disheartening for the Spartans as Verona scored 22 seconds into the extra period when the Wildcats were able to get past the Spartans defense and were able to score after a wild scrum in front of the net.
Rebounding with a win
The Spartans did not dwell on the loss on Friday night when they took on Madison West on Saturday morning, scoring in the 28th minute when the Spartans' two senior captains connected as Loepfe eluded two defenders and found Swittel running down the middle of the goal box, putting the ball past the West goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead. Then senior Christy Caliendo broke free from the right side of the field and made a nifty move to get into better position and scored to make it 2-0 Spartans.
East wasn't done, Caliendo again was open on the right side of the field, but this time she beautifully crossed a ball into the box, where freshman Kellie Goodman leaped high in the air and headed it into the goal to make the score 3-0 at halftime.
Schroeder gave Caliendo a start on Saturday and was happy with her effort.
"Christie Caliendo gave us a goal, assist and plenty of chase," he said. "That is exactly the way I expect players to respond and that is also an example of a senior setting the tone."
Loepfe found an opening in West's defense and left-footed a shot past a diving Thompson to make the score 4-0 in the second half. With the game well in hand, West did score two late goals to make the final score 4-2.
"While the loss to Verona on Friday evening was one of the toughest any of us had ever been a part of, the team's response on Saturday to Madison West was great." Schroeder said. "This was a good weekend away for us; we learned a lot about ourselves. We still have a long way to go. But it was encouraging to put up six goals."
- Ron Knudsen, correspondent
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