CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Whenever Bloom Township and Crete-Monee meet on the soccer pitch, there's always plenty at stake.
Bloom Township didn't take lightly a short-handed Warrior squad, and the Blazing Trojans used a goal in each half to down Crete-Monee 2-0 in a match between Southland Athletic Conference rivals.
Andreina Hernandez and Jasmin Villanueva each scored for the Blazing Trojans.
"It's a rivalry, so we're always trying our hardest," Hernandez said. "It's the biggest game in conference and the season. Both Crete games. We always work hard for those."
Villanueva took a through pass by Jazmin Aldape to put the Blazing Trojans up 1-0 just 7:44 into the match. Bloom (7-1, 4-0) was able to control the tempo and pace of the game for much of the match against a Crete-Monee team that was without six of their starters.
"They're our rivals and always the hardest team to beat," Villanueva said. "I took that pass and just saw the goalie. I had to shoot it."
Crete-Monee (3-7, 2-1) was able to get their chances but were unable to capitalize on their few looks at the Bloom net. The Warriors' best chance came with 18 minutes remaining in the first half. Adriana Vera took a free kick near midfield that hit the Bloom crossbar before remaining loose in front of the Bloom net. Warrior forward Niana Blanchard-Hall was there for the rebound, but her shot glanced off the side of the net.
"We did the best we possibly could," Warrior coach Julian Lagunas said. "Bloom played well and did exactly what they needed to do. They shut down Adriana and slowed her down significantly. Other than that, we had our chances, and Bloom played better."
Both teams battled through a scoreless and physical second half until Hernandez found the far corner on a shot from just outside the Crete-Monee box. The Warriors had failed to clear, and Hernandez pulled the trigger to put Bloom up 2-0.
Bloom midfielder Aldape finished with two assists.
Warriors keeper Lydia Cogan had a busy day in goal for Crete-Monee and finished the match with 11 saves.