Girls Soccer: Megan Geldernick, Metea Valley turn back York
Updated: March 28, 2012 11:15PM
Metea Valley has played only 30 games in its short history but now has a tournament championship on its resume.
The Mustangs accomplished that by edging York 1-0 on penalty kicks Wednesday in the title game of the St. Francis Springfest at Olympic Park in Schaumburg.
“We knew coming in that everybody was going to underestimate us, so we just wanted to come in, work hard and show everybody that we are capable of playing with anybody,” Metea Valley goalie Megan Geldernick said. “We just needed a goal, or in this case everybody to score on their PKs, and we were going to pull out a win.”
Geldernick kept Metea Valley (7-0) in the game by making seven saves in regulation and two five-minute overtimes even though York (4-1) controlled most of the play and enjoyed a 15-4 edge in shots.
The Mustangs won the shootout 5-4, as all five Metea shooters — Kristina Tomaras, Holly Krol, Alyssa Fox, McKenzie Sheesley and Jenna Kentgen – converted. Geldernick set the tone by diving to her right to stop York star Christina Ordonez on the first attempt.
“I just wanted to get stops for my team,” Geldernick said. “I just wanted to get one. I knew [her teammates] were going to make all of them so I was just happy to be able to do that so we can get the win as a team.”
For most of the match, it appeared to be only a matter of time before the Dukes would score. They consistently put pressure on the Metea defense, even while playing into the teeth of a 30-mile-per-hour wind in the second half.
The Michigan-bound Ordonez missed several great chances, knocking a bouncing cross from Bryce Manuelos over the crossbar in the 38th minute and heading a cross from Alyssa Kovatchis high as time expired in regulation, though the potential goal apparently would not have counted because the referee blew his whistle a second before she got her head on it.
Courtney McHugh also gave Metea fits with her bending corner kicks — three of which were punched out of traffic by Geldernick — and elusive runs into the box, including one in which she dribbled through two defenders and unleashed a low shot that Geldernick hung onto with Ordonez ready to pounce on any rebound.
The Mustangs started to play better in the extra session, though York nearly won it in the second overtime when Ordonez made an unimpeded 50-yard run up the right wing before firing high as Geldernick charged off her line. So the Mustangs were relieved to get to the shootout where they knew Geldernick gave them a big advantage.
“The first 60 minutes of the game was brutal, but then once we got into the overtime we knew we had to finish, or at least try to finish,because we really wanted to win this one for our first championship,” Kentgen said. “[Winning the title] is just amazing.”
After Geldernick stopped Ordonez in the shootout, the Mustangs seemed to relax, and even after McHugh, Kovatchis, Catherine Kent and Banuelos converted for York, Kentgen confidently rolled her shot inside the right post to clinch it.
“Everyone went to that side, so I figured [York goalie Anne Bell Lansdowne] could get over there, but she didn’t, so I just put it right in,” Kentgen said. “I always feel pressure in those situations, but I think I do well under pressure.”
York coach Chris Halupka was upbeat despite the loss.
“Christina is upset with herself about the penalty shot,” York coach Chris Halupka said. “That’s natural. Everyone has missed penalty shots, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Christina.
“I’m extremely pleased with the way my team played. I don’t even consider it a loss. We went out there with the idea of going out there and setting the tone, winning the midfield and attacking from there and I thought we did a great job of it.”
Even the Mustangs agreed with that assessment.
“They were definitely getting to the balls in the air,” Geldernick said. “I thought that was something we were struggling with a little bit and they were looking for Christina Ordonez up top a lot. We knew she was going to be a strong attacker and we were trying to shut her down.
“They were doing a lot of one-two play. It was very dangerous, but I thought we handled it in the moments we needed to.”
In the third-place match, Benet received a goal and assist each from Madie Burke and Meghan O’Hara and a goal from Katie Liber in its 3-0 victory over Burlington Central. Jamei Borges added an assist for the Redwings (5-2), which did not allow a shot on goal as goalie Christina Stokpka recorded her second shutout.