Normally, it would take a while to match the excitement of an overtime
For the Chesterton girls soccer team Tuesday night, it took about 10
Shortly after sophomore Bridget Brendza scored two overtime goals to lead
the Trojans to a 3-1 victory over Lake Central, a Chesterton player received
a text message stating that Valparaiso had just beaten Crown Point 1-0.
The ensuing celebration by the small group of players, led by the jumping,
jubilant senior Tori Schroeder, still gathering their equipment surpassed
what had just happened on the field.
The Crown Point loss coupled with Chesterton’s victory created a three-way
tie between those two teams and Valparaiso atop the Duneland Conference
standings. If the Trojans (8-2, 4-1 DAC) win their two remaining conference
games against Portage and LaPorte, they can do no worse than tie for the
“I have been telling the girls that we just need to stay in the mix,”
Chesterton coach Dave Galloway said. “We had to get a little help from the
people down south and we got that. This has been a really fun year in the
Duneland. There are a lot of really good teams.”
Two of those upper division Duneland teams battled for 14 extra minutes
Tuesday as a 0-0 halftime tie turned into a 1-1 tie after regulation. The
Trojans and Indians (9-4, 3-2 DAC) exchanged scoring opportunities in the
final few minutes of the second half, but a shot off the post, several shots
within feet of the net and some aggressive goalkeeping by Chesterton’s
Alexandra Bucko kept the tie intact.
The possibility of penalty kicks seemed to be likely until the final seconds
of the first-seven minute overtime period when Chesterton sophomore Kristin
Mabry won possession deep in the corner. She then put a perfect crossing
pass into the box for Brendza to slip past Lake Central goalkeeper Megan
Bereda with just 3.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
“I knew how much time was left and I knew what I had to do,” Brendza, who is
nursing a shoulder injury suffered in last week’s loss to Crown Point to go
with her knee injury she suffered against Valparaiso, said. “It was a great
ball, right through the box and I was able to finish it.”
Midway through the second overtime period Brendza iced the game by
redirecting a free kick from the foot of Rosie Biehl with a header that
seemed to surprise Bereda.
“We have been working on using our heads more in every practice and I was
able to put that one in,” Brendza said. “I can’t take all the credit though.
It’s a whole team victory. The forwards, midfielders, defense and goalies
all won. We all play together.”
Galloway specifically noted the header as something he was happy to see, but
it was just one of many things the Trojans did well after Lake Central took
a 1-0 lead early in the second half. After possessing the ball for the
majority of the first half, but not really turning that into quality scoring
chances, the Trojans did a better job applying pressure in the second.
Chesterton tied the game at the 26:50 mark when Brendza dribbled through the
Indian defense and passed to junior Nicki Kollar for the equalizing goal.
The Trojans didn’t take the lead for nearly 34 minutes, but weren’t far off
on several occasions.
“The way we played in the final 20-some minutes and overtime is the way we
have been training,” Galloway said. “They finally started playing the way we
have been working.”