Outcome worth the wait for Cyclones soccer players
Good things come to those who wait.
Those words couldn’t have been truer for Moraine Valley College’s women’s soccer team last Wednesday. After seeing a few prime scoring chances foiled during regulation, the Cyclones finally broke through against Elgin College in overtime.
Less than two minutes into the extra session Diana Lozano ended the match on a positive note for Moraine. After beating a defender down the field and seeking only to hit the ball across the box, the Richards grad instead watched it go into the net to give the Cyclones a 1-0 victory that halted a losing streak.
Before Lozano came through, Kristina Cypser (Shepard), Alexis Delgado and Maggie Hacker (Sandburg) nearly did. Hacker, in fact, fired a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar in the later stages of the second half.
Moraine keeper Alexis Boyer received her share of tests, too, but was equal to the challenge as she finished with eight saves. The shutout was her third of the season.
Boyer recorded another whitewash on Saturday, stopping three shots along the way, as the Cyclones blanked South Suburban College 3-0. The win was Moraine’s second over the Bulldogs, although it didn’t come as easily as the earlier 9-3 triumph.
The teams were locked in a scoreless duel in the second half before Hacker’s header handed the Cyclones a 1-0 advantage five minutes into the session. Alyssa Braun turned a Delgado cross into a second score 15 minutes after that and then connected once more with 10 minutes remaining in the match off an assist from Maria Gabino.
The Cyclones’ quest for an Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship got momentarily derailed last Wednesday as they took fourth in a tournament at the Highlands Golf Course in Elgin. The finish was Moraine’s lowest in a conference event so far this season.
Matt Contey was the Cyclones’ top gun with his round of 79, which continued a positive pattern for him. Contey has shot between 78 and 80 in each outing to date. Two strokes behind him was David Karwoski.
Providing Moraine’s other scores were John Orowick and Joe Knight, who carded an 85 and 91, respectively. The Cyclones were in action again this past Wednesday.
The Cyclones kept rolling last week as their 9-0 demolition of McHenry College on Tuesday represented their sixth straight victory and third consecutive whitewash.
Each singles position displayed the fighting mentality that is synonymous with Moraine tennis this season. Liz Dominguez, Claudia Maka (Oak Lawn), Lindsey Walker, Agnieszka Szudy (Stagg), Tricia Poremba and Kailyn Seldal (Queen of Peace) were the Cyclones’ ringleaders, with Dominguez, Maka and Poremba putting strong performances on display in both singles and doubles encounters.
“To have any shutout, let alone three so far, is very difficult to do,” Moraine coach Nicole Selvaggio said. “I think it speaks volumes about our capabilities [and that] we never take a match lightly. To have each girl play as well as she did in each respective position is really great to see.”
The win streak reached seven on Thursday as the Cyclones defeated the College of DuPage 7-2 in another ISCC clash.
Dominguez, Seldal, Maka and Poremba set the tone with dominating singles matches. The third-doubles pair of Maka-Poremba clinched the team win, although the most thrilling match came from the No. 1 doubles tandem of Dominguez-Seldal.
After dropping the opening set 6-3, Dominguez-Seldal fell behind 5-2 in the second before mounting a comeback. Five wins in a row forced the match into a third set, where another slow start left Dominguez-Seldal again staring at a 5-2 deficit.
Playing the deciding set as a super tiebreaker — where the first team to accumulate 10 points triumphs — COD’s duo reached the brink as they held a 9-5 advantage. But that winning point never materialized; instead Dominguez-Seldal rattled off six in succession to storm past their foes.
“I honestly haven’t seen that level of mental toughness and focus in a very long time,” Selvaggio said. “It’s just so rare nowadays. The way all of the girls were cheering each other on and then came together at the end was a moment all of us will never forget.
“Matches like this are why I do what I do. It’s about creating that memory and then sharing it with each other. This was a heck of a match.”
The Cyclones continued to show progress as they competed at Saturday’s Gil Dodds Invitational hosted by Wheaton College. Both Moraine squads ran well despite an alteration on the course due to a construction project at the forest preserve.
The men ran their second 8K race of the season and placed 12th in a 15-team field. Richards grad Yousef Khazneh led the Cyclones over the altered 8,045-meter course at St. James Farm in Warrenville by completing his run in 28 minutes, 6 seconds, which landed him in the 75th position overall among 225 finishers.
Following him down the chute were Anthony Briante (87th in 28:25), Braulio Castellanos (112th, 29:00), Justin Briante (147th, 30:14, and Alejandro Montes (162nd, 30:59). Moraine’s non-scorers were Dawid Palac (172nd, 31:32), Anton Thauer (175th, 31:44) and Larry Byrd (190th, 32:43).
“We were faster at the front and slower at the back from a week ago,” Cyclones coach Mark Horstmeyer said. “Our [Nos.] 4 through 7 guys have to push harder. Their spacing was not as good as at Illinois Intercollegiates, but we expect that to change.
“The guys work hard and we now have to convince them that when adversity strikes during the race, they are very capable of dealing with it. We continue to be pleased with the way they finish and that will get better as well. Overall, [it was] a good outing but with potential for lots of improvement.”
Moraine’s women took on their first 6K race of the year and were 13th among 15 teams.
Marist alumnus Aileen Gorman once again set the pace for the Cyclones as she clocked a 25:05 for 6,030 meters, an effort that earned her the 69th spot in a 212-runner field.
Supplying the remainder of Moraine’s points were Crystal Flores (138th, 27:16), Jackie Navarette (139th, 27:17), Abby Correa (145th, 27:34) and Sarah McCann (157th, 28:00). Also representing the Cyclones were Amy Miller (160th, 28:05) and Jessica Flores (191st, 30:14).
“We weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be and the girls were disappointed,” Horstmeyer said. “We still liked how our second through sixth runners finished, but the spacing wasn’t what we had hoped for, especially after how well they did at Illinois Intercollegiates.
“I think our first-year kids learned a lot from this race in terms of needing to push harder when it’s not quite going the way they wanted it to. They will take that knowledge into their next race and we expect the results will be different. [Our team was] the top two-year college finisher, so they acquitted themselves well.”
Moraine travels to Rock Island on Friday to compete in the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational hosted by Augustana College.
“This is a very competitive, fast race and we look forward to the challenge,” Horstmeyer said. “This is our first time at ‘Augie’ in several years and we’re excited about competing there. This will be a lot of fun.”
The Cyclones stepped up their game last Tuesday, but still fell short of Morton College by a 2-1 score in ISCC play.
Jordy Padilla’s goal in the 75th minute briefly pulled Moraine into a 1-1 tie, but the Panthers scored off a rebound in the last three minutes to grab the win.
Two goals from Jonathan Salas and one by Padilla gave the Cyclones enough juice to defeat Kankakee College 3-1 on Saturday.
Winning ugly was the Cyclones’ theme last Tuesday as they outlasted the College of Lake County 25-16, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14 in an ISCC match.
Producing a strong defensive effort on Moraine’s behalf was Marist product Carolyn Yerkes, who recorded 26 digs while playing error-free in the back row. Kayla Manthei picked apart the Lake County serve-receive on her way to registering nine aces and Kate Patnett posted the highest hitting efficiency (.625) while putting down five kills.
South Suburban College overcame a 2-1 deficit in games to beat the Cyclones 25-21, 18-25, 10-25, 25-14, 15-9 last Thursday.
Bridget Ferrin (Richards) had 40 assists, five digs and an ace for Moraine in a losing cause. Manthei (11 kills, 14 digs, two aces) and Carly Trinley (13 kills, nine digs) also had good nights, especially along the net.
Patnett (eight kills), Alex Bojan (six) and Yerkes (25 digs, two aces, 2.46 serve-receive efficiency) were other Cyclones notables.
Host Kankakee repaid a debt owed Moraine for a setback earlier this season by beating the Cyclones 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 Saturday. That same day Columbus State College (25-20, 25-17, 25-18) also got the better of the Cyclones before Moraine defeated Triton College (25-19, 25-16, 25-6) to complete play in a quadrangular.
Yerkes had a total of 29 digs in the two losses, plus two kills and a 2.63 serve-receive rate against Kankakee. Trinley had 11 kills in the opening match, while Manthei (16 digs) and Bojan (eight kills, five solo blocks) were other notables opposite Columbus State.
The Cyclones pulled everything together in the last match of the day as they put down 36 kills and served 13 aces to topple Triton.