Girls soccer: Bartlett, Schaumburg play to 0-0 draw
Eighty minutes of girls soccer could not decide the season opener Monday night in Schaumburg at Olympic Park but the effort put forth by visiting Bartlett was good enough to give the Hawks a positive start to the 2019 campaign.
"Maybe it was the cold, or just a case of nerves, but our play in the first half was just OK. I thought we played really well in the second half, had some good chances and could have easily come out of here with a win instead of a draw," said a pleased Bartlett head coach Vince Revak, following the 0-0 result with host Schaumburg.
"We haven't been outside at all thus far, and it showed, but the girls competed and fought all throughout the game," said Schaumburg head coach Greg Charvat.
This nonconference contest was played at a neutral site while the Saxons' home field was being painted in preparation for the spring outdoor season, which includes the Saxons' Mid-Suburban League opener on Tuesday with division rival Conant.
It was clear both sides were still finding their way during the opening half-hour, with most of the play not anywhere close to what fans will see in the coming weeks.
"Our back line, especially Paige (Bednarke), was very good all night long, but on the other end we played way too direct and didn't possess like I know we can," said Hawks senior, and one of Revaks' captains, Mikayla Brown.
The ultracompetitive Brown was effective on several occasions for the Hawks from her spot, usually as an outside midfielder, and along with teammates Maddie Donnelly, Serena Salvato, Morgan Myers and freshman Tessa Evans kept the home side under pressure for most of the second half.
"We did a lot of good things after the break, we just were not as sharp as we could be in the final third, but that will come the more we train and play," offered Revak.
Saxons midfielder Al Schaar was the best player for her club in this season opener, going box-to-box during her 80 minutes of work, which included some strong work tackling, and a handful of quality balls sent into the box.
Schaar would connect with Victoria Treni in the 57th minute for an attempt that went over the bar and moments later a superb early ball to Addy Wingard led to a corner for the Saxons which the Hawks smartly defended.
Bartlett was much more dangerous with its attack than the home side calling Saxons keeper Livvy Masi into action with a trio of shots on frame, one of which hit the post.
That near miss came from Salvato during the opening moments of the second period off a nicely played counter by Brown and Evans.
Morgan Myers went just wide three minutes later when the Hawks took advantage of too much space and time conceded by the Saxons, with Salvato setting up Myers.
Masi saved an attempt by Evans to keep things goal-less at 50 minutes, then watched her back line teammates defend to keep the Hawks from finding the back of the net.
"I thought that curling shot from Morgan was going in, and even though we settled too easily on a few of our shots I thought it was a pretty good first game, which gives us plenty of reasons to feel good about this season," said Revak, whose club goes on the road on Wednesday at East Aurora.
"Bartlett was the better team, and we obviously have to sort some players and things out at this point, but it still felt good to get out there and play a game to see where we're at," said Charvat.