Varsity Soccer Recap: SUA vs. Ursuline
September 16, 2012St. Ursula Academy
Varsity Soccer Recap:
St. Ursula Academy vs. Ursuline Academy at Grooms
Every school needs a rival, a game that immediately both will circle on their schedule as significant, no matter how good either team may be. Sometimes rivalries are two adjoining suburbs, or two nearby neighborhoods, certainly in this town east vs. west, but sometimes the rivalry develops due to similarities. That’s the case with SUA and UA, both fantastic academic institutions with proud athletic tradition and similar ideals and teachings. Many girls end up choosing one over the other when deciding where to attend high school. What makes this such a tremendous rivalry is the amount of respect displayed, where athletes and students go at each other hard for 80 minutes, but things don’t turn ugly.
The match-ups with the Lions have outcomes which are difficult to predict, but always entertaining. This one began with good defensive stops in the final third of each end, including a take-away by Madeline Peskovitz from a dangerous spot. Midway thru the half, Ursuline connected with a midfielder at the top of the Bulldog 18, who quickly turned and fired a shot into the lower left corner of the net to give the Lions the lead. Not 2 minutes later, an Ursuline corner was cleared but kicked back into a scrum in front of the goal. After a couple more attempted clears that didn't find their way out of the mass of shin guards, the ball fell to a UA striker who toe’d the ball into the upper right section of the goal and SUA trailed by 2.
After a decent amount of possession in the Lion end, but nothing materializing, St. Ursula’s offense picked it up in the final 15 minutes of the half. Maddie Huster and Rachel Hall had a nice 1-2 combination allowing Maddie a look from 20 yards that went over the crossbar. Maddie had another attempt, after some nice work from Darby Schwarz, that seemed on target from the corner of the 18 but the powerful shot went barely wide. Then Kate Elson struck one from 15-yards that the Lion keeper deflected over the top.
With their large student section cheering them on, SUA would continue with decent chances in the 2nd half. Kate Elson lined a skipping shot from 19 yards that the keeper dove to make the save. The Bulldog defense kept Ursuline at bay when Claire Weigand stepped in to diffuse a good Lion opportunity by separating the ball from the Lion attacker during a transition.
A Bulldog free kick from 30 yards deflected off the UA wall, and went to Megan Ireland who hammered the deflection wide. Schwarz and Huster sliced their way thru the Lions defense and Maddie blasted a shot from close range, but a tough angle, that the keeper blocked, and Darby smashed the rebound toward the net but the keeper was again up to the task and kept SUA scoreless.
Olivia Silverman came off her line during a UA corner and snagged the serve in heavy traffic, grabbing the ball while it was still up high. Again, SUA came back to challenge when Elson threaded a thru-ball to Rachel Hall behind the UA defense, but the keeper got there just after Hall and smothered Rachel’s one-timer, a very nice save. With 10 minutes remaining, Claire Weigand headed a corner toward the near post but a UA defender made the clear out to Megan Ireland, who unleashed a bomb from 30 yards that flew just outside of the far post.
Give a lot of credit to the Lions defense, who stayed organized and mistake free, even during a hectic 2nd half where SUA pressured often. The 2-0 final was a disappointment, but as always in this rivalry, the team on the short end of the score held their heads high as they left the field, hoping that they don’t have to wait an entire year to get another chance to reclaim bragging rights.