Published Jun 26, 2022
Written By:  Joe Chatz
             Central Region Contributor

Chicago KICS FC’s two first-half goals were enough to hold off Midwest Select SA Muskrats and earn the first win of its inaugural WPSL season.

Both Lake Michigan Division members, and 2022 expansion sides, came out firing in the opening moments, with KICS nearly jumping ahead in the 6’ minute after forward Julia Olander took a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that was saved by a sprawling Tatum Damron.

Moments later, Midwest Select’s Sydney Stott had a shot of her own that forced KICS’ Alexandra La Quaglia to make a diving save to the keeper’s right.

KICS had another perfect opportunity in the 19’ minute when a corner fell perfectly to Maeve Sheridan at the far post, but her header missed the open net completely to keep the match scoreless.

After a hydration break, Chicago finally broke through the deadlock.

The ball was played over the top of the Midwest Select defense and fell to KICS’ Daniela Tovar-Miranda who took a touch and chipped the ball past the keeper to give Chicago its first goal of the season and the 1-0 lead in the 29’ minute.


“I saw the goalkeeper come out and I thought ‘I can’t blast it over as she’s cutting down the angle,’ so I decided I’m just going to do a little chip over her,” Tovar-Miranda said.


KICS was able to get another opportunity before the halftime break after a received an awarded penalty in the 43’ minute. Captain Bela Labović stepped to the penalty spot and scored, giving KICS the 2-0 lead at halftime.


“I’ve been in situations like this before and just trusting my experience and being like ‘okay, this is the same thing I’ve practiced so many different times,’” said Labović. “I just envisioned where I was going and pushed it into the corner.”


The second half began with both sides having chances in front of the goal, but neither side was able to get a strong effort on target.

When the match seemed over, Midwest Select refused to relent. In the 86’ minute, Midwest Select’s Sophia Jaime made a wonderful run down the right flank, running past two KICS defenders in the process. Jaime took two touches in the penalty area and unleashed a near-post effort that beat the keeper to make it 2-1 with minutes remaining.

Despite having chances from a corner and a set-piece in the waning moments of the match, Midwest Select could not find the leveler and Chicago KICS collected the 2-1 victory at home.