By Alex Bahena ’19
What is PepsiCo Showdown ?
The PepsiCo Showdown, according to their official website, is an opportunity for different schools and their players to showcase their abilities on the field. This tournament has been around since 2003. Each year it gives schools from different backgrounds the opportunity to shine and show their talents. Each team is placed to a bracket. Each of the brackets is named after a nonprofit organization. Some of these non profit organizations are the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and National Guard. The tournament takes place in the month of April.
Pritzker’s Road to the Final
The lady jaguars made the U.S. Coast Guard Bracket as a 13th seed. They faced Bolingbrook and defeated them 3-1. They faced Montini Catholic, 5th seed, and defeated them 5-1. In their following game they faced Streamwood, 9th seed, defeating their opponent 5-2. The game was not always on the side of the ladies of Pritzker. The ladies were down 2-1 at the half, but they ended up prevailing and won the game. With the victory against Streamwood they clinched a championship game in their bracket against Regina, 11th seed. Regina defeated schools such as Solorio, 2nd seed, and then Romeoville, 3rd seed.
Pritzker started an early lead against Regina. Keyla Romero, junior, scored the first 3 goals of the game. Romero scored in the 12 minute, 29 minute, and 31 minute. To end the half Jocelin Luna, senior, ended the half with scoring a goal at the 36 minute. This gave the ladies an advantage of 4-0.
During the break, the coaches were giving the ladies advise on things they could improve on and things that they were doing well. The ladies went to the second half highly motivated.
10 minutes into the second half, Joanna Bahena, freshman, scored a goal. She took on 4 defenders of the other team. The scoring fest was still not over. America Calvario, freshman, scored another goal. The final goal came from Romero giving the ladies a victory of 7-0.
Destiny Jimenez, senior, stated, “It felt great competing in the PepsiCo Showdown for the first time.” She went on to add “Taking home dubs every game, including the championship, was a good feeling especially because no one knew who we were and they weren’t expecting us to be this strong of a team. It was such a great experience.” Romero said, “It felt good to compete in the PepsiCo Showdown because it was something new to the Pritzker’s soccer team.”
Jimenez also said, “I’m happy with my performance as well as my team’s performance. We wanted to win, we went for it and got it.” Jimenez said that the team has such great chemistry because the always plays with each other outside of school during the summer. Even though Romero scored 4 goals she felt that she could have improved a bit.
The ladies were celebrating in an interesting fashion. They were sent to the Pepsi truck across the street, and they began shaking the Pepsi bottles that were given to them. They eventually opened them, and streams of Pepsi were in the air. Drenched in Pepsi, the girls took another picture with the trophy. This was the first time the ladies competed in the PepsiCo Showdown. They couldn’t be more proud of themselves.