St. Francis Girls Win Fall 2005 Rookie Championship
In a game that was close all the way and with a wind that affected the play for both teams, the girls of SFDS seized the game by scoring 2 goals in the second half, then held off a furious late surge, to complete a season which ended by winning the last 6 games down the stretch.
All season long, the defense led by Megan Dunn, Danielle Farragher and Sarah Werner played so relentlessly that they limited their opponents to a total of 2 goals while compiling 4 shutouts during the winning streak. The strong goaltending of Christine Cappiello and Fallon Mullen was also a big factor throughout the season and never more apparent than in the playoffs.
But the real strength in the SFDS team is in its depth. Having players with versatility enabled the team to wear down their opponents all season long.
This combination of power and speed gives them a distinct advantage over the competition. All season long players such as Lauren Houck, who can play all of the positions, Christina Cortes, Grace McCaffrey, Chrisitna Rocks and the newest addition, Lucy Castillo added spark to the team when it needed it.
The first half of the championship game ended scoreless due to a combination of fine defensive play and a strong wind that made it difficult for each teams’ offense to execute.
The start of the second half mirrored the first half with each team having limited scoring opportunities. With time winding down and the sun starting to set it seemed as if the game was heading into overtime or, quite possibly, a shootout.
But as the second half progressed, SFDS started to dominate the play in the middle of the field. Midfielders Frances Amodeo, Liana Denaro, Chantal Lizzi, Annette Scotto, Kailin Twomey and Jillian Urcelay tirelessly battled their opponents as they patiently waited for a quality scoring chance.
Then, with 9 minutes to go, they broke through with the games first goal. Kacie Mainieri took a shot from just outside of the penalty area in the middle of the field that went over the goaltenders head and found its way into the net.
That’s when the excitement built to a feverish pitch. For the remainder of the game the pace was fast and furious. Both teams challenged for the ball all over the filed. The relentless play of SFDS forwards Elizabeth Cholakis and Jillian Carmody kept the pressure on. And with the game on the line SFDS made a crucial defensive stop that led to the games, and ultimately the seasons, defining moment. With Our Lady of Hopes defense now trapped in the offensive zone as a result of trying to press for the tying goal, Catie Corcoran raced down the left side of the field unimpeded to the goal.
As the goaltender made a desperate attempt to stop the shot, Corcoran touched a beautiful pass to a streaking Vanessa Ramos who virtually ran the ball into the net for the goal that sealed the victory and the championship. Our Lady of Hope then showed why they were the defending champions from a year ago as they scored from a scramble in front with less than a minute to play.
However, there wasn’t enough time for Our Lady of Hope to score another goal to tie the game. Soon after St Francis kicked off the ball down the left side of the field the referee blew the whistle signifying the end of the game and the ladies of SFDS celebrated their hard earned championship.
Congratulations to the girls of SFDS for an outstanding season and for a terrific, heart stopping, performance in the championship game.