players Addy Joiner and Ashlee Bakaitis were arm in arm with each other as
they skipped off the field Tuesday following a win over Valparaiso that was
nearly a year in the making.
Joiner and Bakaitis
both played plenty of high-level club soccer this summer as they each earned
college scholarships, Joiner to Valparaiso and Bakaitis to Illinois State,
but there was just something about playing their rivals that got both elite
players ready for Tuesday night.
“I’ve played coast
to coast and there’s nothing like this rivalry,” Bakaitis said.
“We wanted this
game so bad,” Joiner added. “I don’t think any of us could focus at school
two penalty kicks and added an assist while Bakaitis scored off a 40-yard
free kick as the Trojans routed Valparaiso 4-0 in front of a raucous home
crowd. Joiner’s two penalty kicks came off a pair of Valparaiso hand balls
in the box. The two penalty shots bookended two more goals from Sydney Stott
“The first penalty
kick really sets the tone,” Joiner said. “It’s so key to get that first goal
because the whole tone of the game changes.”
penalty kick came in the 10th minute and then the two goals from Stott and
Bakaitis came within 100 seconds of one another as Chesterton blew open the
game in quick fashion against the rivals that ended its season last year in
the sectional semifinals.
Tuesday’s win came
on the heels of a difficult two-loss weekend for the Trojans where they
dropped games to South Bend St. Joseph and Hamilton Southeastern. It was
those games, coupled with a pair of losses to Valparaiso last year, that
helped provided the mettle needed to win on Tuesday.
“We play those
games for a reason,” Forgey said. “We want to test ourselves. We haven’t
made a deep run in the postseason, but this game gives us some belief. We’re
dangerous. We’ve got a lot of talent.”
Forgey implored his
team after the game to remember the feeling, but to make sure they brought
the same intensity to games for the rest of the season. By the time the
scoreboard was shutoff and the rest of their teammates were off the field,
Joiner and Bakaitis remained, hoping to bask in the glow of the victory for
a bit longer before skipping off into the night.
“This just feels so
surreal right now,” Bakaitis said. “This is everything we’ve been building
toward. This is the big step in the right direction for us.”
Sydney Vorrier 4 saves.
Carley Balas 6 saves; Addy Joiner 2 goals, 1 assist; Sydney Stott 1 goal;
Ashlee Bakaitis 1 goal.
Valparaiso 3-2 (1-1); Chesterton (2-2-1, 2-0).