Varsity Soccer Recap from 9/5: SUA vs. MND
September 16, 2012St. Ursula Academy
Varsity Soccer Recap from 9/5:
St. Ursula Academy vs. Mt. Notre Dame at Buenger Field
The undefeated Cougars of Mount Notre Dame were the GGCL Scarlet opener for St. Ursula. MND has been one of the top programs in the city for several years running, and boast a dynamic and dangerous player who you could say has been a thorn in the side of GGCL defenses since her arrival on the MND campus. Earlier rains had drenched the field turf, which would be slick to start the game, but the evening turned out pleasant for this highly anticipated match.
Five minutes in, the Bulldogs had a nice combination from Darby Schwarz to Kate Elson with Kate winning a corner. Maddie Huster’s delivery of the corner found the forehead of Megan Niebuhr, but the ball went wide. Not long after, Huster and Schwarz ran a quick give-and-go with Darby blasting a shot from 20 yards that the MND keeper deflected wide with an outstretched glove.
After quite a bit of possession in the MND end, the Bulldogs finally broke through. Mary Alice Vignola carried the ball down the sideline, then parallel to the end line before punching a left-footed shot that the MND keeper saved, but could not contain. Darby Schwarz was there to finish it and put SUA on top 1-nil.
The Cougars had their first great chance midway through the half, when a pass skipped off a Bulldog defender into the run of an MND striker, but the AR ruled offsides, negating what would have been a score. SUA moved play back to the Cougar end of the field, and after a short corner, Maddie Huster dribbled to 15-yards out and hit a liner that glanced off the top of the crossbar.
St. Ursula continued to play excellent defense, highlighted by Madeline Peskovitz working hard on a 1v1 inside the Bulldog 18 to prevent a corner and make a clear to the sideline. 4 minutes before the half, MND had a nice, quick turn and shoot from 20 yards out that flew just wide of the right post.
As the clock ticked under a minute, M.A. drew two defenders near the top of the 18 then slid a pass to Kate Elson, whose initial shot was blocked, but Kate pressed forward, getting the ball back and blasting a left-footer inside the far post. The SUA lead had doubled, a huge goal immediately before halftime. The Bulldogs had played an outstanding 40 minutes.
The Cougars came out strong in half #2, controlling play for about 10 minutes. Chrissy Spears thwarted a great scoring chance for Mt. Notre Dame when she raced stride by stride with a Cougar striker, and broke up the play. Then keeper Olivia Silverman made a terrific diving stop of a low, skipping, shot. At this point play evened up again for the next 15 minutes.
Megan Ireland, Emily Janszen, and Maddie Huster connected on a series of short, one-touch passes that ended with Maddie beating two defenders then pulling a shot a shade too much, missing the near post.
With less than 17 minutes to go, MND turned up the heat again, pushing the play into the Bulldog end. SUA did have a quick transition turn into a chance when Schwarz’ deep cross to Rachel Hall was nicely received by Hall, but her well-hit shot went wide. SUA fouled on the MND side of the field with 13 minutes on the clock, and the free kick was driven to the top of the 18 where a Cougar got to it first, flicking it over the bulk of the Bulldog defense and into the perfectly timed run of an MND striker, who re-directed it past the SUA keeper and into the net. It was a nail-biter again at 2-1.
But even though MND pressured often in the final moments, the Bulldog defense held tight, and Maddie Huster burned a lot of clock shielding the ball near the corner flag. St. Ursula had earned a big win over a league rival, and taken a step toward the GGCL Scarlet title.