Calmeyn assists on two goals as Grens rally past Vikings
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By Dan Santaromita
Elk Grove didn't get the most chances or shots in its Mid Suburban League crossover match against Fremd, but that didn't matter.
The Grenadiers pulled out a crucial 2-1 win Monday night in Elk Grove Village thanks to two assists from Michelle Calmeyn on crosses from the right.
After having won four straight MSL matches, Elk Grove (7-5-3, 5-2-1) is two points clear of Hersey (4-1-1 MSL) atop the MSL East.
The two teams will face of in Arlington Heights on Thursday with the division title hanging in the balance.
"It's nice that we've got a couple days now to prepare for Hersey and keep plugging along," Klaus said. "It's just that consistency. It's just a growth on the girls' part."
The Vikings' usually stout defense appeared disorganized and struggled with communication in Monday's match.
"It was a couple mental mistakes," Fremd coach Steve Keller said. "Give Elk Grove all the credit in the world. I thought they outhustled us in certain aspects of the game and they earned the goals.
"But if we were sorted out a little bit ahead of time, challenged the ball a little bit smarter, maybe we could have done something about them. We certainly created some chances that we got to make sure we put away."
The Vikings (9-2-1, 5-2-1) came out like gangbusters in the first fifteen minutes and took the lead on an eighth-minute goal from Elise Kotsakis.
She received a throw-in in the Elk Grove zone, cut inside on her defender and ripped a shot just past Grenadier goalie Nicole Ricci (5 saves).
"I thought the first 15-20 minutes, whatever you want to attribute it to, but they were really getting the better of us and I thought this could be a long night," Elk Grove coach Dan Klaus said.
Elk Grove relied on defender Katie Naughton to tightly mark Kotsakis all night.
On the goal, Naughton slipped and was out of position leaving another Grenadier with the unenviable task of defending Kotsakis. That’s all the Fremd junior needed to put her team in front.
Kotsakis and Naughton, two of the area's best players, were locked in numerous entertaining duals for the ball. Kotsakis barely had any room to breathe throughout the game.
"Our coach had scouted her before and basically told me to stay tight on her and not get any shots off," Naughton said.
"She did have one good one, obviously, which led to a goal, but after that it was tight on her and nothing. That was basically the objective."
Midway through the first half, Elk Grove settled into the match and almost scored in the 27th minute, but an offside call disallowed the goal.
"That's happened to us often this year where we get a goal and we kind of have a let up, which I thought happened tonight," Keller said.
"I actually told my assistant when the second half started, two minutes went by, I said I didn't like our demeanor.
"Didn't play a very intelligent game and then when your brains are not focused and ready, you can see what happens. It cost us on two plays."
The Grenadiers carried the momentum into the second half and evened the match in the 44th minute.
Calmeyn crossed into Kelly Naughton, who headed the ball home. Kelly Naughton was in her first match back from injury.
The Vikings played with more urgency after the equalizer but were unable to connect on their chances.
Elk Grove was able to alleviate the pressure and took the lead in the 61st minute through Kelli Hubly.
Calmeyn sent an almost identical cross into the box and Hubly got a foot on the ball to roof it over Allison Norenberg (4 saves) for a 2-1 lead.
"We didn't challenge and then on the second one (Calmeyn) got free," Keller said. "Our keeper could have come out, but then we can't let the cross get off and the marking in the middle was poor.
"Just a combination of things. Those are mental mistakes that if you want to win you can't make."
The Vikings continued to press, but despite Jessa Rizzo being dangerous on the left wing the equalizer did not come.
"I thought Rizzo had an exceptional game in terms that she made havoc on them," Keller said.
"We've just got to get on the end of those things and have got to work on her getting her finishing down a little bit so they get on frame and make the keeper have to do something."
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