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Feature Article


July 24, 2014

Illpolo Fest 2014 Game Recaps

By Aaron Brown


The first edition of the Illpolo Fest took place on July 24 at Hoffman Estates High School with three featured games in unique event that included 72 players from 40 different high school teams in Illinois. Here is the on-the-deck report as best as I can remember it:



Illpolo Future Stars 7 Hoffman Estates 2

Lauren Wood (Vernon Hills) scored two goals and Lauren Broz (Prospect) blocked 13 shots to lead the Future Stars to a 7-2 victory over Hoffman Estates in the opening game of the Illpolo Fest on Thursday night.


Claire Rosas (Conant) and Emily Mathews (H-F) did a stellar job in putting the clamps down on the Hoffman offensive attack throughout the game, while both players scored key goals in the win for the Future Stars. The pair were aided by the perimeter defense of Andi Stilts (H-F), who was a key factor in limiting the hosts to just two goals.


Meanwhile, Wood also provided a key field block early in the second half to prevent a powerplay chance that could have led to a rally for the hosts with the game still hanging in the balance.


Sarah Luedloff (Meadows) played a key role for the Future Stars, as the team ran their offense through the Mustangs' sophomore from the outset. She also notched a first-half goal. The tandem of Ashley Helminski (Palatine) and Tess O'Brien (Palatine) also combined to score a key goal for the victors, while Danielle McCallister (Prospect) drove down the right side to score a nifty goal to put the game away for the Stars late in the third quarter.


The up-and-coming Hawks had several chances to twist the tale late in the game, but Broz (Prospect) continued to make save-after-save to keep the hosts from claiming a lead.


Rachel Gallo led the Hawks' with two goals and had multiple chances denied by Broz in the second half as Hoffman piled on the pressure in hopes of making a comeback. The hosts were also boosted by the all-around play of junior Francia Morales-Diaz, while junior goaltender Jenny Fermaintt made seven critical saves to keep Hoffman close until the end.



Illpolo All-Stars 19 Naperville Tropics 3

Kevin Tunney (Sandburg/Redlands), Mark Alvarado (SICP/ Chapman) and Wally Kleinfeldt (Palatine) each scored 4 goals to lead the Illpolo All-Stars to a 19-3 victory over the Naperville Tropics on Thursday evening.


Meanwhile, the relentless team defense led by Shane Hughes (SICP) of the All-Stars combined with the stellar goaltending of Joe Lawrence (NC) and Jake Burke (LWC) helped limit the Tropics to just one first-half goal and three scores for the entire game.


Multiple players got in on the scoring act for the All-Stars, as Broc Thompson (H-F) and Danny Farmer (Fenwick) each scored 2 goals and Hughes, Madj Ibrahim (Sandburg), Mitch Zieler (Sandburg) and Zach Elias (Lockport) each scored once in the win.


The Tropics, who were without a handful of players that had made their way to California for Junior Olympics the day before, were also without the services of elite goaltender Jakobi McClellan (H-F) due to a recent injury.


Nolan Roberts (NN), Simon Shatinsky (Neuqua) and Ryan Donahue (NC) each scored once for the Tropics. Last-minute goalie replacements Sean McNicholas (Sandburg) and Ahmad Abdelqadar (Sandburg) stepped in to help the team's effort, while Art Kasemets (Mundelein), David Holzer (NN), Haden Santefort (H-F), Luke Landiak (NN), Patrick Burke (LWC), Ryan Towers (NN) and Will Russell (Neuqua) also featured for the Naperville-based squad.



Illpolo Alumni Plus 10 Illpolo All-Stars 9

Rebecca Mathews (H-F/Iona) scored the game-winning goal with just under two minutes left to play and both Cassidy DeGraff (LWN) and Ellis O'Connor (Evanston/Michigan) put in key second half goals to help the Alumni Plus team claim a 10-9 win over the Illpolo All-Stars.


The goaltending tandem of Jill Connolly (LWE) and Kerry Goodspeed (GBN) also came up big for the Alumni Plus squad, as they combined to make 12 saves to help the team overcome a one-goal halftime deficit.


The All-Stars nearly took control of the contest early in the second period after Kaela Codo (NC) and Morgan Miller (NV) teamed up for a goal and Allison Travetto (Stevenson) scored from five meters to make the score 4-2. On the next play, O'Connor drew two defenders to the right wing and found a driving Argelia Diaz (Wheeling) open at two-meters, where she found the left corner of the net to cut the deficit down to one.


The All-Stars would eventually take a 6-5 lead into halftime after consecutive goals by Caroline Wojtas (Palatine) and Melissa Gartenberg (Stevenson). Meanwhile, the goaltending duo of Jordin Hale (Oak Park) and Lauren Burns (Stevenson) made several key saves and the defensive efforts of Emily Morrison (Maine West) and Katherine Rogers (Deerfield) helped keep the team ahead heading into the second half.


Erica Mangia (LWE) and Niki Neumann (Prospect) teamed up to get the Alumni Plus team on even terms early in the third quarter. Then, after the teams traded possessions, the All-Stars' earned a breakaway opportunity, but Connolly made a crucial one-on-one save to keep the teams level. The Alumni Plus team took advantage after the momentum-changing save, as Katy Kirsh (Buffalo Grove) assisted O'Connor on a goal from two meters to give the team a 7-6 advantage.


Gartenberg and Kimela Srey (Waubonsie) joined forces to quickly equalize on the other end for the All-Stars. But DeGraff, who seemed to get stronger as the game wore on, added a goal and assisted Mathews on another to help the Alumni team take a 10-8 lead. The All-Stars added a late goal, but two key stops by Chapman-bound Goodspeed allowed the Alumni Plus team to run out the clock on a one-goal victory.

















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