Girls soccer: Castellanos breaks record in West Chicago win

 
By Matt Le Cren
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/6/2019 11:17 PM

West Chicago star Barbie Castellanos scored her 26th goal of the season Monday night.

That broke the single-season school scoring record held by Megan Radloff.

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But Castellanos, a Chicago State recruit, was happier with what the goal brought -- a 1-0 victory over visiting Lake Park.

"Honestly, I don't know what I'm supposed to feel," Castellanos said. "It feels good, though.

"It's kind of cool to break a record. But I think (the win) feels even better, because now we have more wins than we have losses."

Indeed, the Wildcats (9-8-4) have a chance to record back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in Cesar Gomez's 13-year coaching tenure. They can assure themselves of a winning record by beating Glenbard South at home on Wednesday.

Castellanos made that possible by scoring on a spectacular breakaway with 35:17 left in the second half. The senior midfielder took a pass from junior Giselle Navejas and accelerated into the clear, eventually racing 50 yards before slotting a shot under charging Lake Park goalkeeper Lilija Briedis and inside the far post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It wasn't the first time Castellanos has connected with Navejas, who was still limited after returning Saturday from an ankle injury that caused her to miss games.

"She just knows my runs," Castellanos said. "We read each other pretty well so she knew exactly where to pass it and I ran onto it.

"I feel like that's what we're always looking for. I'm always waiting for a pass through from her."

West Chicago had been waiting a long time to break the ice against a stingy Lake Park defense. The Lancers (4-15-1) hung tight despite being outshot 16-2 and got 8 saves from Briedis.

"I think the game was incredibly sloppy the first half for both teams," Lake Park coach Sean Crosby said. "I don't think either of us were happy with our performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We couldn't connect passes and when we did, we were slow moving and slow thinking. They had a connection in the middle between (Castellanos) and (Navejas) and did a nice job."

The Lancers had the first scoring chance of the game just 40 seconds in. Senior Cyndi Martinez's power header off an Ann Marie Ahrens corner kick sailed over the crossbar.

Martinez just missed high on a similar play with 25 minutes left in the second half. Those were Lake Park's only chances.

Castellanos has had plenty of chances this season and this game was no different. The Wildcats have gotten accustomed to seeing her work her magic.

"It's inspirational," West Chicago defender Luciana Balzer said. "She's done a really good job of helping her team out. She's very aggressive and she's good at anticipating passes and she has really good acceleration."

But Castellanos isn't good yet at understanding the significance of her accomplishment.

"You have to be kind of grown up to understand how (special) that record is," Gomez said. "And Barbie is someone who is listening to every word that you say and applies it.

"She is not looking (to set records), but she is looking to win. That's how she is. It's such a fun way to see things."

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