The Pepsi Showdown has grown into one of the best soccer tournaments since it began in 2004 because they have stuck to their mission. In short, their goal has been to bring out a variety of soccer teams from the metropolitan areas in which the annual event is held. That variety not only includes the premier teams but the up and coming ones from. As such, the overall level of play in the entire Metro Area has improved significantly and brought the many fine student-athletes that compete some much needed exposure and recognition.
The 2012 Pepsi Showdown is now in full swing and it looks as if this year's event will offer its fans plenty of action, as well as some surprises. The 2012 participants are, for the most part, matched-up very nicely from a competitive standpoint. It is also my guess that there will be some surprises by the time everything is said and done because of the care taken by organizers while drawing up this year's schedule.
As for the the Southwest Prairie Conference - they were well-represented in this year's tournament but the only team left standing with a shot at winning the Pepsi Championship are the Lady Tigers of Plainfield North (8-1-1, 3-0-0 SPC). However, I think that they have a team with a legitimate shot, especially given their knack at finding the back of the net thus far in their season. In 10 matches, the Lady Tigers have scored 49 goals and only conceded 5. That is some serious offensive fire power and I am hoping they will be able to continue pumping in the goals as the tournament competition progresses. But, there will no doubt be some stingy defensive teams up to the challenge.
Now, you won't hear me say this very often since they are one of our district rivals, but right now it must be - GO PLAINFIELD NORTH!
The following is a chronological look at the tournament thus far:
(game summaries culled from Pepsi Showdown Facebook Page:)
For more information please visit the Pepsi Showdown website.
SATURDAY, APRIL 7
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN PLAY-IN GAME
Oswego 6, Joliet West 0
Erin Apolzan scored 2 goals for Oswego (4-4, 2-1).
MONDAY, APRIL 9
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN PLAY-IN GAMES
Chicago Whitney Young 3, Chicago University High 0
The Dolphins (4-3-2) captured the play-in road win thanks to Mia Espino, who had a goal and two assists. Amelia Rockhold and Hannah Sommerland also scored, while Rachel Hobert stopped two shots to earn the shutout. Young will travel to No. 2 seed Plainfield North on Tuesday. The Tigers are currently ranked in the top 10 by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.
Plainfield East 1, Chicago Payton College Prep
Oak Park-River Forest 3, Hinsdale South 1
Joy Dennis, Wren Osler and Merideth Blatner tallied, while Katy Oldach made five saves during the Huskies play-in home win. Oak Park (5-3), which received assists from Ruby Gonzalez and Lauren Wilkes, will battle No. 5 seed New Trier on Tuesday. The Trevians are ranked in the top 10 by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Betta Bifero scored for the Hornets (1-5) off an assist from Jessica Koziol.
Plainfield Central 2, Marian Catholic 1
Britany Lenza and Lauren Kulaga scored to propel the Wildcats (6-2, 2-1) to the play-in home win. Goalie Tiffany Lenza picked up the win, while Lenza also had an assist for Plainfield Central, who will host No. 7 seed York on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans (1-5-1) got their goal from Christina Franzese off an assist from Hailey Losselong. Sarah Sieracki had 10 saves in goal for Marian.
Warren 4, Niles North 2
The Blue Devils (2-3-2) got goals from Kristen Huard, Lexi Reyes, Kenzie Verheyen and Rachel Walz to capture the play-in contest in Gurnee. Walz's tally came off a restart from 35 yards out. Paige Jespersen and Karly Moe had one assist apiece, and Amanda Macuiba (six saves) earned the victory in goal. Warren will battle No. 4 seed Loyola on Tuesday. The Ramblers are ranked in the top 10 by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Amina Zukancic and Angela Jones scored for Niles North, while Alyssa Brand had one assist in a losing effort.
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN 1st ROUND
Game #9: Elk Grove Village 5, Oswego 1
The Grenadiers (6-0-1) raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead en route to the victory at home. Notre Dame-bound Kelly Naughton had a hat trick, while Kelli Hubly and Stephanie Solis also scored for Elk Grove. Lindsey Vaccarino (two), Nikki Zaino and Emily Wary handed out the assists, while goalie Melissa Solorio stopped two shots to earn the win. Bridgette Leverich (goal) and Hunter Coppes teamed up for the Panthers' (4-5) lone tally. Amy Annala (seven saves) suffered the loss in goal.
TUESDAY, APRIL 10
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN 1st ROUND
Game #1: Metea Valley 6, Plainfield East 0
Top seed Metea Valley (10-1) cruised behind five goals from Jenna Kentgen and four assists from Tina Tomaras. Rachel Warnock had the other goal. Kentgen and Tomaras teamed up on all three second half goals. Megan Geldernick and Kylie Dunning earned the combined shutout in goal. Jessica Vargas had 10 saves for Plainfield East (8-4-1).
Game #2: Wheaton Academy 7, Deerfield 2
Crystal Thomas recorded four goals as Wheaton Academy (3-1) cruised to the home win. Ally Witt (two) and Abby Olson also scored for the Warriors, while Alli Manske, Witt and Thomas added assists. Goalie Kristen Morency had three saves to earn the win. Joella Guagliardo and Samara Haas scored for Deerfield (3-2-4).
Game #3: Stevenson 2, Chicago St. Ignatius 0
The Patriots (4-2-1) advanced to the Sweet 16 thanks to two goals from Katie Krejsa. Hanna Levi had an assist, while goalie Cori Calcaterra (seven saves) posted the shutout. Michelle Loyo stopped nine shots in goal for the Wolfpack (5-3-3), while Katie Johnson and Noreen and Maura Walsh had solid performances.
Game #4: York 5, Plainfield Central 0
Christina Ordonez had four goals and Catherine Kent added the other for the Dukes (7-2). Annabell Landsdown had two saves in goal for York which will travel to Stevenson on Thursday for a Sweet 16 showdown. Shawna Watson (goal), Brigid Hanley (assist) and Tiffany Lenza (11 saves) were the stars for Plainfield Central (6-3).
Game #5: New Trier 2, Oak Park-River Forest 0
Four different players contributed offensively to help No. 5 seed New Trier (8-0) remain undefeated. Maddie Mulford (goal), Nora Mabie (assist), Maddy McGinnis (goal) and Jess Weaver (assist) provided the offense, while goalie Leah Roche posted the shutout. Jessie Berman and Rachel Shellenback also had strong games for the Trevians. Katy Oldach had 15 saves for the Huskies (5-4).
Game #6: Jacobs 4, Sycamore 2
No. 12 seed Jacobs got two first-half goals from Catie Sherman to capture the home win. Amy Rigby and Jess Tennant also scored, while Cassidy Sherman, Kylie Dennison (two) and Erin Flores had assists. Alyssa Koeppler stopped two shots in goal for Jacobs (7-3-2). Michelle Doran and Alyssa Hemerich scored for Sycamore (5-5-1) off assists from Amy Schroeder and Katherine Kohler. Olivia Rand had 16 saves in a losing effort.
Game #7: Hersey 3, Mundelein 0
Goalie Morgan Harris (three saves) posted her eighth shutout of the season to help Hersey (8-2-2) pick up the home win. Casey Weyrich and Megan Boyle had unassisted goals, while Emily Custer (goal) and Lauren Gierman hooked up on the other tally. Goalie Michaela Valin had four saves for Mundelein (2-5-1).
Game #8: Loyola Academy 4, Warren 0
The fourth seeded Ramblers (9-0-1) cruised to the easy win behind goals from Katie Taylor, Meeghan Smith, Anne Manganaro and Sierra Klucikowski. Emily Affinito and Tori Iatarola (two) handed out the assists, as Brittany San Roman (three saves) registered the shutout. Loyola will host No. 13 seed Hersey on Thursday. Amanda Macuiba had five saves for Warren (2-4-2).
Game #10: Wheaton North 3, Lincoln-Way North 1
The Falcons (5-4) were outshot, but they made the most of their opportunities. Sydney Sharkey, Tiffany Traxinger and Lexi Pelafas scored, thanks to assists from Anne Denz and Traxinger. Jessica Kiely got the win in goal for No. 14 seed Wheaton North, which will face No. 3 seed Elk Grove on Thursday. Lincoln-Way North (6-3-1) got its lone goal from Rita Craven off a Leigh LaRocco assist. Goalie Michelle Balcerzak had three saves.
Game #11: Wheaton-Warrenville South 2, Huntley 0
Behind Katrina Geannopoulos’ first-half goal and Lexi Peterson’s second-half tally, the Tigers (2-2-2) captured the road win. AJ Jakuscewski had one assist, and goalie Abbey Fuster (four saves) posted the shutout. No. 10 seed Wheaton Warrenville South travels to No. 6 seed Lake Forest on Thursday. Delaney Loprieno had a strong game for Huntley (5-3-2), and Kelli Rubino (two saves) and Jessica Galason (three saves) split time in goal.
Game 12: Lake Forest 2, Fenwick 0
Abby Shipp and Carly Hoke had goals to power No. 6 seed Lake Forest (6-2-1) to the home win. Kali Polich and Shipp each had an assist. Goalie Liz Clark posted the shutout for the Scouts, who will host No. 10 seed Wheaton Warrenville South on Thursday. Goalie Sydney Galvez-Daley had eight saves for Fenwick (2-3-1).
Game #13: Lockport 2, Maine South 0
The Porters improved to 6-2 overall thanks to the offensive punch of Lexi Cozzi (goal), Katie O’Brien (goal), Lauren Labanauskas (assist) and Allie Brehm (assist). Defenders Leah Plescia, Julie Divita and Michele Schultz helped Cortney Jerzy (six saves) and Alyssa DeYoung (two saves) earn the combined shutout. Goalie Emily O’Grady had six saves for the Hawks (6-3-1).
Game #14: Lake Zurich 5, Glenbrook South 2
The Bears scored four second-half goals to upset No. 11 seed Glenbrook South on the road. Vanesa Abad had a hat trick and one assist for Lake Zurich (3-2), which will host Lockport in Sweet 16 play on Thursday night. Meaghan Gelinas added two goals, while Nicole Rasiarmos (two), Jordan Jackson, Katie Williams and Abad added assists. Thanks to the strong defensive play of Maisie Cox, Katie McCullough, Courtney Kehrmann, Catalina Abad and Stacey Wilton, goalie Eleanor Daleska earned the win. April Cronin and Carolyn Nash had goals for the Titans (3-3-4), while Lauren Sroubek and Kaily Bruch handed out assists.
Game #15: Lyons Township 4, Chicago Lane Tech 0
Sarah Mazur, Emily Lange, Abbie Pasquinelli and Audrey Anfield each had one goal during Lyons (5-0-1) home win. Mackie Furlong, Anfield and Mazur added assists, and Maggie Orlowski stopped eight shots for the shutout. Ana Hernandez had two saves for Lane (4-3).
Game #16: Plainfield North 4, Chicago Whitney Young 0
Heather Handwork, Ashley Auble, Ashley Handwork and Callie O'Donnell had goals, while O'Donnell and Auble also posted assists. Goalie Paige Polonus (five saves) recorded the shutout for No. 2 seed Plainfield North (8-1-1), which will host No. 15 seed Lyons on Thursday. Rachel Hobert had 19 saves for Whitney Young (4-4-2).
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
No Games Scheduled
THURSDAY, APRIL 12
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN 2ND ROUND: SWEET SIXTEEN
"Pepsi" Championship Bracket Schedule
Game #17: Metea Valley vs. Wheaton Academy
Game #18: Stevenson vs. York
Game #19: New Trier vs. Jacobs
Game #20: Hersey at Loyola Academy
Game #21: Elk Grove Village vs. Wheaton North
Game #22: Wheaton-Warrenville South at Lake Forest
Game #23: Lockport at Lake Zurich
Game #24: Lyons Township at Plainfield North
2012 PEPSI SHOWDOWN CONSOLATION BRACKET 2ND ROUND
2nd Round "Muscle Milk" Consolation Bracket Schedule
Chicago Lane Tech at Warren
Chicago Payton College Prep at Oak Park-River Forest
Chicago Whitney Young at Niles North
Glenbrook South at Oak Park Fenwick
Huntley at Deerfield
Joliet West at Hinsdale South
Maine South vs. Mundelein at Loyola
Marian Catholic at Chicago University High
Oswego at Sycamore
Plainfield Central at Lincoln-Way North
Plainfield East at Chicago St. Ignatius
The remainder of the "Muscle Milk" Consolation Bracket Schedule & Opponents To Be Determined As Tournament Progresses.
Tags: 2012 Pepsi Showdown, 2012 Pepsi Showdown Girls Soccer Tournament, Chicago, Chicago Metro Area Sports, Fussball, Girls High School Soccer, High School Soccer, Oswego High School Girls Soccer, Plainfield Central High School Girls Soccer, Plainfield East High School Girls Soccer, Plainfield North High School Girls Soccer, Soccer, Southwest Prairie Conference Girls Soccer Teams Represented In 2012 Pepsi Showdown