The harsh reality in sports is that seasons are defined by the final game.
The Chesterton girls soccer team did everything right during the 2013
campaign, but with their backs against the wall, and the wind in their
faces, the Trojans were unable to deliver on Saturday afternoon.
Ashley Thomas scored three of Valparaiso’s five unanswered goals as the
Vikings overcame an early 1-0 deficit to knock off Chesterton 5-1 in the
Portage 2A sectional championship game.
“We had a great season, a great run, but the best team doesn’t always win,”
Chesterton coach Dave Galloway said. “We lost the second game of the season
and the last game of the season. It’s tough.”
The Trojans (13-2-2) got off to a good start on Saturday, dominating
possession in the opening 20 minutes and gained the advantage on a untouched
corner kick from Katie Green in the 17th minute. Even after Green’s goal,
the Trojans continued to push the ball into Viking territory with ease.
Possession doesn’t equal shot attempts and the Trojans struggled to generate
chances against Valparaiso keeper Kristina Veljovic.
“We’re a team that plans on shooting a lot and we maybe had half a dozen
looks at the goal,” Galloway said. “That’s not going to get it done against
The Vikings used a swirling wind to their advantage in the second half, and
although Galloway downplayed the wind, several members of Valparaiso’s team
said the elements helped spark the offense. Lauren Reineke and Lexi Ferngren
scored back-to-back goals within three minutes of each other early in the
second half and the Vikings added a fourth goal within a 23-minute span that
put the game out of reach.
“We played a certain way all year and then we didn’t bring that here today,”
Galloway said. “That makes it very frustrating to have a game plan and then
not execute. Give Valparaiso a lot of credit for that.”
Eight seniors saw their Trojan careers come to an end on Saturday afternoon,
including forward Bridget Brendza and defender Madisyn Coudriet.
“It’s very difficult for them,” Galloway said. “They were on a semistate
team three years ago and this group had a lot of talent. This is a tough
loss for them.”
Valparaiso 5, Chesterton 1
Valparaiso -- Kristina Veljovic 2 saves; Ashley Thomas 3 goals; Lauren
Reineke 1 goal; Lexi Ferngren 1 goal, 1 assist.
Chesterton -- Katie Green 1 goal; Anne Marie Radzik 4 saves.
Records: Valparaiso 9-6-2; Chesterton 13-2-2