Cerda, Chiefs earn berth in Region IV Final

Cerda, Chiefs earn berth in Region IV Final

(Sugar Grove, IL.) – For the tenth time in the last 11 years Waubonsee Community College's Women's Soccer team will play in the Region IV Division I Championship match. The second-seeded Chiefs turned back upset minded South Suburban College 4-1 behind four goals from striker Isabel Cerda to advance to the title game. The victory was also the 86th career coaching win at Waubonsee for head coach Brad Schlemmer, moving him into a tie with Leslie (Ferguson) Raney for the most in program history.

Waubonsee (17-2-1) will square off against top-seeded and 16th ranked Moraine Valley Community College (18-0-1) in south suburban Palos Hills this coming Sunday, October 28 beginning at noon. It's the fourth straight year the Chiefs and Cyclones will play for the Region IV title with Moraine Valley winning each of the previous meetings. The winner will host the North Central District title match on November 3 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent from either Michigan, Indiana or Ohio.

Sixth-seeded South Suburban got on the scoreboard first as Nataly Porras netted her 46th goal of the season, moving into a tie for the lead nationally in goals scored for NJCAA Division I players. The Bulldogs held that 1-0 lead until 15 minutes remained in the first half. The Chiefs knotted the score when Marlene Sanchez took a shot from the right side that was deflected by the Bulldogs' keeper Jasmin Gonzalez. The ball was knocked directly to Meghan Menzel out in front of the goal, and she quickly tried to put the rebound in before Gonzalez could recover. Menzel's shot however was blocked by a South Suburban defender and the ball ricocheted right to Isabel Cerda. The freshman then tapped the ball into the left corner for her 28th goal of the season.

The Chiefs kept the pressure on and misfired on a couple more shot attempts in the following minutes of play. The turning point in the match then came when a South Suburban player was assessed a red card after a pair of hard fouls with three minutes to go until halftime. Moments later the Bulldogs' head coach was also ejected and the visitors had to finish the match with only 10 players on the field.

Waubonsee quickly took advantage early in the second half. After a sensational diving stop by Gonzalez to thwart Sanchez, Cerda then intercepted the keeper's short outlet kick. The Plainfield South graduate juked a diving Gonzalez and went around her and scored easily to put Waubonsee in front in the 48th minute. Cerda then registered her school-record sixth 'hat trick' of the season in the 59th minute as she beat Gonzalez on a breakaway to eclipse Maxzine Rossler's 2010 and 2011 mark of five 'hat tricks' in a season. Six minutes later Cerda finished the scoring by drilling a shot past Gonzalez into the upper left corner from 15 yards out for her 31st goal of the season.

Menzel was credited with two assists, while Sanchez and Molly Schiltz each recorded an assist. Waubonsee also had several other prime scoring opportunities, out shooting the Bulldogs 20-6 for the match. Chiefs' keeper Tanner Prellberg tallied five saves in picking up the win, her sixth of the season. 

Schlemmer, who was an assistant for three seasons under coach (Ferguson) Raney, downplayed his milestone achievement afterwards. "It's always been about the girls and not about the record. It's about getting back to the title match again and finding a way to win."  On Sunday, the Chiefs will have that opportunity once more. In the last 10 years Waubonsee has won four Region IV crowns and finished as runner-up five times. Since 2008 the Chiefs have won a combined 150 matches under (Ferguson) Raney's guidance for four seasons and Schlemmer's for the last seven. During that same time Waubonsee has won 81 percent of its' Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference matches, going 50-12 while capturing three conference championships and finishing second five times.