For Bremen Co-op, it all starts with defense.
The Red Jaguars’ ability to shut teams down and create offense out of defense was on full display Tuesday in a 6-3 win over Andrew in Tinley Park.
“It’s the whole team working together,” Bremen coach Todd Strein said. “Everyone bought in from day one. We said we were going to be a defensive team this season. The girls believe in it and they’re showing it.”
Bremen (9-2) smothered the offensive attack of the Thunderbolts (3-2) throughout and got easy goals off of turnovers.
Hannah Schultz had all six goals for the Red Jaguars, four coming on fast breaks.
“I definitely have a lot of faith in our ‘D’,” Schultz said. “As soon as think we’re about to steal the ball, I take off. We’re going to score goals this year. We’re not going to sit around and wait to score. So if fast breaks are what get us goals, we’ll do it.”
Melissa Barrios was big in the goal for Bremen, making 12 saves.
Megan Hofer scored twice for Andrew and Anna Tamulonis made 12 saves.
Bremen led 2-1 after one and 4-2 at the half then shut out the T-bolts for the entire third quarter and first 4:40 of the fourth.
After Tamulonis made a couple big saves to deny Bremen in power-play opportunities, Schultz delivered a backbreaker with 1:09 left in the third, scoring on a lob shot from near mid-pool for a 5-2 lead.
Sarah Minnich, who had a huge game defensively for the Red Jaguars, made four fourth-quarter steals and Jacky Zuniga’s steal with 35 seconds left and Bremen ahead 5-3, clinched the win.
“Anything we do is because of the whole team playing defense,” Minnich said. “When we force a bad pass because one of our girls is pressuring them, it makes it so much easier to get a steal.”
Courtney Carter added a goal for Andrew.
“We shot a lot of shots right at their goalie,” Andrew coach Mike Kuziel said. “We tried to adjust in the fourth quarter and shoot high, and we had some shots over the net. I was impressed with our defense, though.”