MATCH RECAP: Chicago House AC Gets A Hard Earned Draw At Home

The Goal Drought Ends As Louis Bennett Scores The First Home Goal In House History
Published Sep 27, 2021

CHICAGO, IL (September 24th, 2021) - Chicago House AC (1-2-5, 5pts) battled during a very entertaining 1-1 draw at SeatGeek Stadium against Michigan Stars FC (3-4-2, 13pts). Keegan Thompson made his professional soccer debut, and captain Drew Conner made his return from injury. The House also snapped their five-match goal drought, got their first-ever point at home, snapping Michigan Stars FC's two-match winning streak.

Both teams were aggressive with their scoring chances in the first half, with a crucial three points on the line. In the 7th minute, Matteo Kidd received a pass from Ian Cerro and tried to volley his shot, but hit the crossbar. Cerro and Louis Bennett both created great opportunities early on for the House. For the first 15 minutes of the match, the House put heavy pressure on the Michigan Stars FC defense. In the 16th minute, Michigan Stars FC defender Andres Chalbaud took a shot, but goalkeeper Michael Novotny made an easy save. In the 24th minute, Derek Huffman had a chance after getting a pass from Wojciech Wojcik, but his shot went wide and was ruled offside. In the 26th minute, Michigan Stars FC midfielder Alexandre Frank took a shot that went through Novotny's hands, but defender Anthony Bowie cleared the ball from danger for the House. In the 38th minute, Huffman had another chance after receiving the cross from Cerro, but Michigan Stars FC goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva saved his shot.

In the second half, Louis Bennett scored the first goal at home for the House in the 48th minute with a golazo courtesy of a beautiful left-footed shot that went off the right post and in. The House had another opportunity to add to their lead with a great chance from Wojciech Wojcik, but his shot went high over the goal. In the 57th minute, Michigan Stars FC defender Joseph Aidoo almost tied the match with a superb header off a corner kick that hit the post. However, in the 62nd minute, there was a miscommunication with the House backline and Novotny, and the Michigan Stars FC capitalized on it with a chip shot from Leon Maric for the equalizer to tie the match 1-1. The Michigan Stars FC kept counter-attacking throughout the match to create chances and add to their lead. Novotny stepped up in the 70th-minute with another save on Alex Satrustegui to keep his team in the match. In the 83rd minute, there was some confusion as defender Rodolfo Sulia made a solid tackle outside the box on Satrustegui to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity for the Stars. However, the referee decided to call a foul on the play, and after consulting with his assistant referee, he chose to show Sulia a red card, and for the second time in a row, the House had to play a man down for the remainder of the match. The House rose to the challenge once again. In stoppage time, Novotny made a fantastic save for the House on Aidoo's in-frame shot to preserve a point for the House, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.

After the match, Chicago House AC's Louis Bennett shared his perspective on what it meant to him to score the first goal in Chicago House AC history at home in front of the fans.

"It means a lot to score a goal for the team," said Bennett. "We want goals to help us win games. It means a lot, but at the end of the day, we play to win games. It's nice to score goals, it's nice to be the first to whatever, but we want to win games, and we won't stop until we do."

Wojciech Wojcik discusses the formation change in this match on not being the lone striker up top and working with Derek Huffman.

"Two strikers is definitely a change," said Wojcik. "We share that responsibility, which makes my job easier because I can play off of Derek, and Derek can play off me. Splitting sides or halves makes it difficult for the center backs for the Michigan Stars. It gives us a different look, not just myself and Derek, but we can put different personnel in the midfield. Having two forwards in the box creates havoc for the other team because there are more numbers in the box, and I think the change was a benefit to us."

Assistant Coach (and acting Head Coach for Friday's match), Guillermo Sanchez shared his thoughts on finally snapping the five-match goal drought and how that changes the team's mentality moving forward.

"Goals are like ketchup, you open a new bottle of ketchup, and in the beginning, it's hard to get out, but once it's out a little bit, then you have the whole thing," said Coach Sanchez. "I hope that's the case for us. In previous matches, mentally, our players were tense and rushed into making that final decision. I think a goal like this will help the team, and we don't just look at results on whether we're scoring or not but how many numbers we can get there or how many chances we created. I'm glad Bennett worked on his shooting, and it's essential to realize the work you put in is the output you get."

Coach Sanchez also keeps things in perspective on the bigger picture despite tonight's results.

"We've been having good weeks of training, and it's unfortunate that we didn't get the three points, but it's good for the players to get a reward with a point," said Coach Sanchez. "We've been in every game losing 1-0, and it's good for them to get some reward for the hard work they have put in the last four to five weeks of training. I'm very pleased and content, and we can't say we were happy because we wanted the three points but were content with the progress and the fight even with a man down. Everybody was fighting, and it was a good output from the players."

Despite splitting the points with the Michigan Stars FC for the second time, the House remains at the bottom of the table while the Michigan Stars FC drops to 4th place.

On Saturday, October 2, the House will travel back to the West Coast to take on San Diego 1904 FC at Canyon Crest Stadium at 8 PM CST. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.chicagohouseac.com/watch-live. For team updates and information, please follow the team's social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @ChicagoHouse_AC for live updates and fan reactions.

 

ABOUT Chicago House AC

Founded in 2020, Chicago House Athletic Club is a community-based professional soccer team that plays its home matches at the 20,000 capacity SeatGeek Stadium at 71st and Harlem in Bridgeview, Illinois. The team competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA,) a U.S. Soccer sanctioned third division league. Led by Managing Partner, President & CEO Peter Wilt, Chicago House AC is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) committed to using its platform for social justice, diversity, equality, inclusion, and community improvement. The club's name is a tribute to House Music, which was created in Chicago in the early 1980's. Fans can help #BuildTheHouse by purchasing tickets at www.chicagohouseac.com/tickets or by calling our Ticket Sales Team at (312) 444-0976. For more information on Chicago House AC, please visit www.chicagohouseac.com and follow the club on social media @ChicagoHouse_AC. Our City, Our House.

ABOUT NISA

The National Independent Soccer Association was founded in 2017 with a mission to bring professional soccer to every city in the United States. A pro league member of U.S. Soccer, NISA focuses on a model based on meritocracy, independent clubs controlling their own league, clubs owning their intellectual property, all without the barrier of territorial rights. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation, NISA also runs the mid-summer pro-am Independent Cup tournament, the year-long amateur league NISA Nation, and NISA Media.

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