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October 31, 2012
Cyclones fight to the end; wrap up 2012
It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters.
The women’s soccer team fought and improved with every game this year, even in a
first-round elimination Oct. 27 in the NJCAA Region IV playoffs to end the
The Cyclones played their typical defensive style of soccer with the strength of
defenders Monserrat Espinosa (Hubbard), who also was a captain,
Navarette (Shepard), Yesenia Galvan (Maria), Jill Kossifos (Mount Assisi), and
keeper Ashley Solus (Richards). The defense grew stronger as a unit all year,
understood their role and greatly contributed. Although there were no blowout
losses and some blowout wins, there were disappointments. Solus had another
season-ending injury in the second to last game. The Cyclones also had a below
.500 average. Going 6-7-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate
Conference for fifth place wasn’t where the team wanted to be at the end.
“We didn’t finish where I expected, and I wanted a positive in the wins. I was
disappointed that we got knocked out of the playoffs, but I set the bar high
with the incoming players,” said coach Jim Knawa. “That being said, we had some
good games and some that could have gone either way. We were in every game this
year, we just had some unlucky bounces, missed shots, shots wide, and some that
hit the crossbar. We were solid offensively.”
While many opposing teams play more physical and offense-based soccer, the
Cyclones focus on defense and maintain sportsmanship at all times. “I have high
standards for how the players act on the field. I tell them to keep their head
in the game and that acting up on the field is not what this team is about,”
Knawa said. “As long as we show improvement, that’s what I look for. Tactically
we improved in all areas, and if we had two more weeks we could have gotten even
better. The players gelled as a team, increased their teamwork, stuck together,
Many players stepped up this season. Captain Michaela Sheeran (Oak Lawn)
repeated as the leading scorer with nine goals and eight assists followed by
Alyssa Braun (Shepard) with eight goals and seven assists.
Karla Lopez (Hubbard)
and Angelina Brcic (Reavis) each had five goals and two assists while
Tuxford (Richards) scored two goals with seven assists. Espinosa and Sheeran
were named to the All-Region second team and All-Conference first team;
Navarette and Tuxford got a nod to the All-Conference second team.
With seven sophomores moving on, there will be some gaps to fill, but the
freshmen will be a good base to build from in 2013.
October 29, 2012
Playoff run ends for Cyclones
The Cyclones needed a win to advance to the NJCAA Region IV
semi-finals, but came up short Oct. 27 in a narrow 2-1 loss to Waubonsee
Community College to end the season.
Moraine Valley fought until the end, as they did with every match. Angelina
Brcic scored the lone goal with assists from Patricia Tuxford and Alyssa Braun.
Keeper Roxanne Milan played tough with six saves.
October 18, 2012
One last bump before playoffs
In their last game before playoffs, the Cyclones battled
Oct. 17, but came up just short in a 2-1 loss to Oakton Community College.
Natalie Patrzyk scored the lone goal with 14 minutes left, assisted by Patricia
Tuxford and Alyssa Braun. With starting goalkeeper Ashley Solus out for the
season with a broken finger, Roxanne Milan started at the net, saving six.
October 9, 2012
Cyclones make interesting push to playoffs
The Cyclones improved to 4-2-2 over the last eight games to
make a push to the playoffs interesting with their most recent 2-0 win over
conference foe Elgin Community College on Oct. 8.
Ashley Solus and the defense were superb, as Solus turned back 22 shots over 90
minutes. Natalie Patrzyk scored her first goal of the season with 16 minutes
remaining in the second half, and Michaela Sheeran scored her team-leading ninth
goal with two minutes left in the game to solidify the victory.
October 4, 2012
’Clone defense steps it up
Cyclones defense stepped up Oct. 3 in a conference battle
with NJCAA Region IV defending champs Waubonsee Community College, and after two
overtimes held the score to a 1-1 tie.
Patricia Tuxford scored the lone goal with an assist from Michaela Sheeran.
Ashley Solus was superb at the net with help from defenders Stephanie Navarette,
Yesenia Galvan, Monserrat Espinosa, and Jill Kossifos. Solus saved 15 over 110
minutes of play.
October 2, 2012
Big offense yields Cyclones win
The Cyclones had a resurgence in offense Oct. 1 with a 6-1
win over Harper College. Within a 30-minute span in the first half, Moraine
Valley scored all six goals and held the lead throughout the game for the win.
Angelina Brcic and Alyssa Braun each scored twice while Michaela Sheeran and
Guadalupe Ruiz scored one apiece. Ana Valdez and Gosha Skora had a couple
assists each and Karla Lopez added one. Keepers Ashley Solus and Roxanne Milan
each had a save.
September 25, 2012
Cyclones succumb in second half
Unlike their last meeting, Moraine Valley kept pace with
Joliet Junior College on Sept. 24, but fell 3-2 at the last minute.
The Cyclones scored early in each half, but the Wolves broke a 2-2 tie with a
minute remaining in the match. Michaela Sheeran and Alyssa Braun scored the
goals with assists from Patricia Tuxford and Braun. Once again, keeper Ashley
Solus was fierce at the net the entire game, saving nine.
September 24, 2012
Nasty weather can’t stop ’Clones
The Cyclones brought their record back to .500 with a 6-3
win over South Suburban College on Sept. 22, amid rough weather conditions.
By halftime the Cyclones led 3-0 and scored two more within the first four
minutes of the second half. Lupe Ruiz and Natalie Patrzyk had strong games in
the midfield. Captain Michaela Sheeran scored three goals with the other three
knocked in by Patricia Tuxford, Ana Valdez and Alyssa Braun. Tuxford had two
assists while Sheeran and Karla Lopez each had one. Keeper Ashley Solus held the
Bulldogs scoreless in the first half and Roxanne Milan had her shot at the net
in the second half allowing three goals.
September 21, 2012
’Clones end in deadlock
The Cyclones played regulation time and then some on Sept.
20, ending their match with Prairie State College in a 3-3 tie.
Prairie State scored first, but Moraine Valley answered back with two, thanks to
Alyssa Braun and Jessica Zambrano, to take the lead at halftime. Jill Kossifos
and Michaela Sheeran earned the assists. The Cyclones fell behind 3-2 but tied
the game with four minutes left to play. After two overtimes and a collective 12
saves by keeper Ashley Solus, the game remained deadlocked.
September 18, 2012
Cyclones denied by Panthers
The Cyclones came up just short Sept. 17 in a 3-2 loss to
Morton College. Captain Michaela Sheeran scored both goals with assists from
Patricia Tuxford and Yesenia Galvin. Keeper Ashley Solus worked the net for 90
minutes, saving 15.
September 13, 2012
’Clones shut down Pioneers
The Cyclones brought their record to .500 with a 1-0 win on
Sept. 12 over Prairie State College. Sophomore Karla Lopez scored the lone goal
unassisted in the second half. Ashley Solus saved six in her 90 minutes of
action at the net.
September 11, 2012
Cyclones shut out
The Cyclones offense faltered Sept. 10 in a 2-0 loss to
Joliet Junior College at home Sept. 10. Keeper Ashley Solus (Richards) had her
work cut out for her with eight saves.
September 10, 2012
Defense can’t stop Trolls; Cyclones ranked
It’s still early, but the Cyclones were dealt their second
loss on Sept. 7 at home, falling 4-2 to Trinity Christian College JV.
Ana Valdez (Reavis) scored for the Cyclones in the first half with an assist by
Tricia Tuxford (Richards). The Cyclones came close in the second half to
catching Trinity with a second goal by Jessica Zambrano (Kennedy). Ashley Solus
(Richards) was blocking balls left and right, saving 10 in her 70 minutes of
play. Roxanne Milan (Beecher) also had time at the net in the first half with
each keeper allowing two goals.
On Sept. 5 the Cyclones were dealt a surprise in hitting the NJCAA Division I
polls. The team is ranked 20th nationally.
September 6, 2012
’Clones fall in conference opener
In their first conference match of the season, the Cyclones
fell just short Sept. 5, losing 2-0 to College of Lake County. Keeper Ashley
Solus (Richards) worked hard the entire game, saving nine.
September 2, 2012
Rain can’t stop Cyclones
Playing in a constant downpour Sept. 1, the Cyclones stayed
tough and defeated South Suburban 4-2.
Angelina Brcic (Reavis) and Yesenia Galvan (Maria) each scored a goal while
Alyssa Braun (Shepard) scored two. Three assists went to Michaela Sheeran (Oak
Lawn). Ana Valdez (Reavis) also had a solid offensive game. The first South
Suburban goal was scored by Moraine Valley after an errant pass deflected off
one of the Cyclones defenders into their own net.
Jill Kossifos (Mount Assisi) stepped up on defense playing for injured Monse
Espinosa (Hubbard). She had an outstanding game, using her speed, along with
defenders Trisha Tuxford (Richards), Lupe Ruiz (Tinley Park) and Stephanie
Navarette (Shepard). Aiding the effort was keeper Ashley Solus (Richards) who turned back
five of six shots on goal.
August 28, 2012
Cyclones post a shutout in season home opener
It only took 90 seconds to score, but it led to the
Cyclones first win and shutout of the season. The Cyclones trounced Triton
College 8-0 at home on Aug. 27.
With seven minutes left in the first half, the Cyclones were up 1-0 and left it
3-0 by halftime. The team scored five more goals in the last 25 minutes to
secure the victory.
Defense was key in this match thanks to co-captain Monse Espinosa (Hubbard),
Stephanie Navarrete (Shepard), Lupe Ruiz (Tinley Park), and Trisha Tuxford
(Richards), who held Triton to one shot on goal.
Karla Lopez (Hubbard) scored four goals in a 24 minute-span in the second half
to spark the offense. Co-captain Michaela Sheeran (Oak Lawn) along with Ana
Valdez (Reavis), Angelina Brcic (Reavis) and Ashley Solus (Richards) scored the
other goals. Alyssa Braun (Shepard) had four assists, while Sheehan and Bricic
each had two.
August 23, 2012
A balanced squad ready for success in 2012
Coming off their best season in 2011, including eight shutout games and a 12-5-1
record, the Cyclones are poised to build off that success, especially with a
number of returning sophomores.
Captains Michaela Sheeran (Oak Lawn), who was the 2011 leading scorer, and
Monserrat Espinosa (Hubbard), the best defender from last year, took charge in
practices and look to be strong leaders. The team’s second leading scorer,
Angelina Brcic (Reavis), also returns along with fellow midfielders
(Hubbard) and Gosha Skora (Reavis) and top defender Stephanie Navarrete (Shepard).
The Cyclones are lucky to have goalkeeper Ashley Solus (Richards) back this
season. She ended 2011 with a hand injury along with eight shutout games but is
ready to play.
Joining the Cyclones is a nice core of athletes who will balance out the
sophomores. Midfielder Guadalupe Ruiz (Tinley Park) has the most powerful kick
on the team and can work on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as well
as stop opponents entering Moraine Valley’s zone. Alyssa Braun (Shepard) had 25
goals her senior year in high school and should be a scoring force with Sheeran.
Having additional scorers will be a benefit, said head coach Jim Knawa. Patricia
Tuxford (Richards) should add to the defense, typically a source of strength for
the Cyclones. Forward Ana Valdez (Reavis) also will be an asset with her good
control of the ball. Solus will have some backup at the net with freshman keeper
Roxanne Milan (Beecher) in the lineup.
“I’m pretty optimistic. I like what I see so far. It’s a nice blend of different
talents and we’re more balanced than last year. It’s also nice to have a couple
keepers,” Knawa said. “The incoming freshmen have some good experience which
will help us build off last year’s success. Our defense really kept us in games
last season, and although we lost two defenders this year, we picked up some
Knawa has a new assistant coach this season in Laura Turk. She is a former
Cyclones and has previously coached high school soccer.