Girls soccer: Rosales comes through, Morton bests Willowbrook 1-0 in OT

Morton senior forward Carisma Rosales’ season has been stuck in neutral.

The Marquette recruit became a state sensation after a productive junior season, registering 23 goals and 12 assists last season.

This spring, Rosales has experienced several frustrating moments due to an early-season ankle injury that forced her to miss several games and play several games in a limited capacity. She sat out Saturday’s defeat to Glenbard East because of a red card picked up in last Wednesday’s defeat to Plainfield North.

For Rosales, the trend continued for most of Monday’s West Suburban Gold Division game against Willowbrook.

She missed several close shots, nearly had several assists on some eye-catching passes to teammates that weren’t converted, jawed with a few Warriors players and fell to the turf several times following shots in the final third.

But Rosales, an all-state player with a booming right leg and nifty 1-v-1 moves that allow her to shake off defenders with ease, finally got a chance to add some sunshine to her season in the first overtime period Monday.

Just 57 seconds into the first overtime, Rosales lined up for a free kick at the 24-yard line. She steadied herself, launching a shot into the far upper-left corner for the winning goal in a 1-0, golden-goal OT victory at Willowbrook.

Rosales said her OT goal was her “first one” of the season.

“It was a pretty stressful game, just one miss after another,” Rosales said. “I was going either shot high on the (free kick). It felt good. Obviously, it was a tough game for both halves. We put in the effort and played hard.”

Rosales said she was happy to put the Mustangs back in the winning column, plus lead them to a victory in their opening conference game. Rosales had four good shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation but couldn’t convert.

“It feels good to be back and to help the team,” Rosales said. “We have a lot of games ahead of us, so we have a lot more effort to put in.”

The Mustangs (5-6, 1-0) came into Monday’s game with four straight defeats – all in the Plainfield Classic.

The Warriors (1-7-2, 0-2) also stuck in a bad spot, finishing with two ties and five losses in their last seven games.

Morton, which won both games against Willowbrook last season by a combined score of 9-2, played with better effort in the second half to earn the road victory.

“We warned them before the game that the longer we let Willowbrook stay in it, that it can go either way,” Morton coach Jim Bageanis said. “We had some better chances in the second half. We were really stagnant in the first half.”

Willowbrook junior goalie Payton Brose, a captain, ended with three saves. The Warriors’ backline played solid throughout the first 80 minutes, but Rosales’ powerful leg was the difference.

“We held them pretty well, and it was great game for us,” Brose said. “I feel our defense worked really well for us against this team. They had speed up top, and I think Halie Ahrens played well against (Rosales).

“There was a lot of traffic on that goal. It was an unlucky goal for us.”

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