Glenbard West Field Hockey Defeats Rival Lake Forest


GBW Field Hockey playing Lake Forest on Memorial Field

Glenbard West Varsity Field Hockey defeated Lake Forest 2-1 in an intense game on Tuesday night.  Lake Forest, the defending state champion, came into this game already having beaten New Trier and North Shore Country Day, two of the top four finishers in the state last year.

The game started with neither team dominating the play.  Then, following a penalty in the Glenbard West defensive circle, Lake Forest was awarded a penalty corner.

A penalty corner happens when there is a foul on the defending team in the semi-circle that surrounds their goal. The most common foul is when the ball touches a defender’s foot.  When this occurs, the offensive team is then given a chance to score. The defensive team is allowed the goalie and four defenders in the goal, while the rest of their team must remain on the opposite side of the 50 yard line. The offensive team can have as many people as they want on the scoring circle.

Lake Forest junior Sarah Considine got off a clean shot, which made it into the back of the net, rendering the score one to nothing in favor of Lake Forest ten minutes into the game.

Glenbard West forward Tessa Erickson, eager to tie the game, brought the ball into the offensive circle with a one-handed carry where the ball hit a Lake Forest defender’s foot, which gave Glenbard West a corner.  Amber Bode had an initial shot on the goal, where it deflected off the goalie’s pads. Midfielder Claire Bletsas was standing next to the goalie, ready for such a situation, and hit the ball out of the air into the back of the net, tying the game.

For the next few minutes, the ball went back and forth in the middle of the field, with neither team able to gain solid possession. However, the ball found its way into Glenbard West’s offensive circle, where Claire Bletsas, once again, scored on the Lake Forest goalie.

Five minutes into the second half of the game, Lake Forest was awarded another penalty corner. Even though the ball came close to going into the goal, senior defender Maddie Schrauth, of Glenbard West,  picked up the ball and carried it out of the circle.

Play remained relatively even, with both teams gaining penalty corners, until the last five minutes when Glenbard West midfielder Sarah Fondel was ejected from the game by referees for being too close to a Lake Forest player as they tried to take a free hit. The game remained intense with Glenbard West down a player and Lake Forest gaining one final penalty corner with three minutes left in the game.  However, Glenbard West’s defense remained strong and the game ended with a Glenbard West 2-1 victory.

The Glenbard West sideline erupted with cheers. Game attendee Ella Crowley noted that she had never seen teammates so excited to celebrate together and congratulate one another.

Mrs. Bletsas, mother of Claire Bletsas, was overjoyed not only with her daughter’s performance but also with the team’s victory as a whole, remarking that the “team has been trying to beat [Lake Forest] for so long.”

When asked about how it felt to see her daughter score two goals against one of the toughest teams in the state, Mrs. Bletsas was speechless. Fellow field hockey mom, Mrs. Cairns, said that Mrs. Bletsas “had tears in her eyes.”