Jason Burdge isn’t a fan of the Chicago Bears, but the Brookfield Central girls soccer coach shared a similar feeling with the man in charge of the Monsters of Midway before Tuesday night’s game against Brookfield East.
“I always think back to when I first got hired,” Burdge said. “And I remembered seeing the press conference for (Bears head coach) Lovie Smith … not saying we’re Chicago or anything but it’s odd to see a coach say ‘our number one goal is to beat the Packers.’ That’s how this rivalry is.
“For me, every year that I’ve been here at Central as a head coach we’ve always finished third (place in conference). We’ve always finished third behind (Divine Savior Holy Angels) and (Brookfield) East.
“Everyone always talks about how we wanted it more or how they wanted it more. For me, it’s something I really wanted. We haven’t beaten East in conference (in the regular season). I wanted this game really bad.”
Unfortunately for Burdge, he will have to wait some more as the two teams finished scoreless after 100 minutes Tuesday night at Brookfield Central.
Despite the lack of scoring, the game wasn’t without plenty of exciting chances.
Seven minutes into the first overtime, East (2-5-4 overall, 2-0-4 Greater Metro Conference) had the ball deep in the Lancers' end of the field. After a bit of bouncing around, the ball finally came to the feet of Jackie Wandt. The sophomore slotted the ball past a helpless Central (7-4-1 overall, 3-0-1 GMC) goalkeeper for what everyone thought was the game winner. But the line judge ruled Wandt was offside.
“It’s really hard to tell,” Brookfield East coach Matt Schroeder said of his view of the play from the sideline. “Jackie said she wasn’t offside, but it looked like she was from here to be honest.”
Despite a plea from the defender, the call stood and the game remained scoreless.
Still in the first overtime with only three seconds left on the clock, Central was awarded a free kick 22 yards away from the net.
Lancers forward Gina Scaffidi dipped the ball perfectly over the opposing wall, but it just caromed off the crossbar as time expired.
The Spartans manufactured a pair of beautiful runs in the second overtime that started with junior Taylor Swittel and ended with Abbie Wolfe, but the first attempt went just wide while the second was snuffed out by Central keeper Rachel Oleson.
“I think we showed we’re a good team,” Schroeder said of his team’s effort. “Tonight I think we showed that in a lot of areas that we can play with these guys we just need to bury one.
“Tonight was our best play. I felt the girls made huge strides tonight and that’s not the easiest thing to say when you walk off with zeros but just playing within our system – easily our best game.”
Schroeder may not have felt that way after the first 40 minutes of the game as Central held a majority of the possession in the first half and created a few dangerous opportunities in the game’s early minutes.
After halftime, however, the play evened out as both teams were able to effectively control the ball and make the opposing keeper earn their stripes.
In the end, the two teams that know each other probably better than any other in the area, thanks to their proximity, just couldn't figure out how to beat each other when they're on opposing sides.
“It’s a great rivalry," Burdge said. "For this game, it doesn’t matter if you have a Scaffidi on one team and a Swittel on the other. You can throw that all out the window. It’s all going to come down to heart and who’s going to work the hardest. And tonight both sides worked their butt off. They had some great opportunities, we had some too, we just couldn’t put it away.”