Successful Season Ends; Playoffs Beckon For Most SFDS Soccer Teams
The first and second grades do not have playoffs. Those teams finished their seasons last weekend.
The Second Grade Girls #2 played an outstanding final game against Our Lady of Hope, winning 2-0. Goalie Molly Abernethy played a great game. She got help from defensive players Carianne Sconzo and Kaysea Jen - kusky. Midfielders Sofia Edri, Nikki Cimino, Annie Burns and Emma Bald - win were strong as they pressured Hope's offense. Forwards Grace Lan - zetta, Caitlin Mullen and Catherine Lunny were superb with passing. Lunny was able to get past Hope's de - fense, scoring both goals of the game.
The First Grade Boys #1 suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday against Our Lady of Grace, but it was not for a lack of effort. After being down 1-0 in the start of the first half, the first grade team's Michael Butkie wicz scored a goal to tie the game up.
Unfortunately, even with the speed and determination the first team had, Our Lady of Grace went on to score two more goals in the second half for a final score of 3-1.
The First Grade Girls haunted St. Luke's defensive zone all game long, but couldn't scare up a goal in a 4-0 loss on Halloween. Forwards Kaylie Walsh, Brooke Leahy and Maevre Murnan repeatedly led surges deep into St. Luke's territory. Wingers Caroline Gifford and Makayla Bras - key muscled ball control out of scrums. Halfback Hagan Carlin corralled side and midline rollers back into play, while Kiera Price forged lanes at the box. Firm defense from Megan Murray and Lauren Kelly tried to limit penalty area trespass by the pinpoint and ultimately resourceful Luke dribblers.
In the playoff eligible divisions, the
Third Grade Girls ended their regular season by staying undefeated and shutting out Our Lady of Hope 5- 0. The goals were scored by Jillian Howard, Hannah Harkins (2), Ryan Carlton and Jillian Machado. She capped off the scoring with a direct kick outside of the penalty box, which soared to the back of the net.
Excellent passing was displayed by Daniella DiCarlo, Kelsey Flynn, Reilly Mangano, Taylor Scaccia, Olivia Mur - ray, Chrissy Diehm and Rian Court - ney. They pushed the ball past Hope's defense to help the forwards score.
Alex Dadario, along with fullbacks Elizabeth Meringolo, Elizabeth Car - mody, Carolyn Diehm, Kate Wrynn and Ginger Kuhlmann frustrated the Hope offense by stopping their ad - vance to the SFDS goal. Goalkeeper Paige Humphrey did an excellent job. The girls locked up the first place spot for the playoffs and hope to bring home the championship!
The Third Grade Boys #1 concluded the regular season by playing the first and second place teams in their division.
On Halloween, the St. Francis boys squared off against their classmates from Breezy and Roxbury at Fort Tilden.
The St. Francis boys avenged their season opening loss to Blessed Trinity by turning in their most complete game of the season and coming away with a 4-2 victory.
St. Francis got on the board first with a booming kick that Joe Braskey sailed over the Trinity defense and into the goal.
Before the half, John Baroudas did what he's been doing all season; he sliced apart the Blessed defense to give SFDS a commanding 2-0 halftime lead. Aiden Smith turned in a rock steady performance in goal in the first half, thwarting the offensives that Trinity threw at them.
In the second half, Blessed player James Fox did what a fox does and snuck past the Franciscan defense to score and bring the game closer. And just as the tension in the game started to creep back in, Baroudas did his best World Cup impersonation to give the Frannies a two-goal lead again.
Late goals made the final tally 4-2 in St. Francis' favor. SFDS also benefitted from the tremendous play of Kennedy Kirk, who seemed to cover the entire field. The entire St. Francis squad show ed grit and determination in handling the potent Trinity squad.
On Sunday evening however, the boys looked like they had a candy hangover in the first half against the undefeated Grace #1 squad.
Crisp passing and staunch defense by the Grace team made it hard for the St. Francis boys to get off their feet and they trailed at the half 3-1. The lone goal by the Frannies came off the foot of Kevin Connelly on a direct kick well outside the box that elevated over the Grace defense and keeper.
In the second half the SFDS boys bore down and played tougher defense. Joe Braskey turned in an outstanding effort in goal only allowing one of the many Grace attacks past his hands. Jack Mullally, Anthony Markle, Brian Keane, Alex Stabiner, Kevin Murphy and James Carson all fought admir - ably in a losing battle. The SFDS hope to have a chance for redemption in the postseason against the perfect Grace squad.
The Sixth Grade Boys finished the year with two hard-fought losses, 2-1 and 2-0. This team proved to be determined on defense and exciting offensively right to the last minute. A much improved Jason Stabiner took control in the midfield with aggressive moves and fundamental passing. Pat Rocks and Jack Carter came off the bench with solid play and good form. Rookie Ryan Gray made several key touches on Saturday to keep the ball moving forward.
The boys limited their opposition to an impressive average of two goals per game. Every game came right down to the very end because these boys never gave up and always held their heads high. The team's coach would like to express his gratitude to all of the parents and the boys for sticking it out through the cold, windy and rainy days this season. The way this team handled itself on the field and off made him very proud.
In the hardest battle of the season,
Fifth Grade Girls tied Hope with a score of 0-0. The passing and communication for SFDS was at its best, but Hope was able to stop every attempt at scoring. Each and every girl played her heart out in the last regular season game making it an exciting game for both sidelines. The MVPs for the day's game were; Megan Twomey (forward), Victoria Stag nitta (midfielder), and Anissa Cherubini (defense). Every girl should be proud of her accomplishment for another tremendous season (9-0-1). The team is gearing up for the upcoming playoffs and is hoping to bring home another championship for the parish.
The Fourth Grade Girls faced the always tough Blessed Trinity squad, but SFS would emerge victorious by the score of 3-1. It was a tough first half as Blessed kept bringing the ball to the SFDS half of the field. Goalkeeper Sin - ead Gallagher was on top of her game by making a number of key saves. An - glina Meringolo and Jessica Morelli anchored the defense and clear ed balls to keep Blessed Trinity at bay. Both teams went to the half scoreless.
St. Francis was able to capitalize in the second half with the sun at their back. Katie Barrett started the scoring with a major kick from the top of the box which sailed in just over the BT goalie's head.
But Blessed Trinity was not down and Grace Kane quickly responded with a breakaway sending the ball into the net for a 1-1 tie.
The St. Francis front line then went to work with Breanne McDonnell scoring off a key pass by Samantha Ca - pizzi. Katie Marquardt then joined in to make it 3-1 SFDS. She put her shot into the net off a nice set up pass from Makayla Beehler. Blessed Trinity had the chance to come within reach as the referee whistled that an SFDS player stopped the ball by using her hands in the penalty box. But SFDS goalkeeper Kerrianne Blum came up big with a huge save in blocking the ball and preventing a BT goal.
KICKERS: As always, the SFDS Soc - cer program thrived under the leadership of Bill Dunn and Jim McKeon. Coaches Anthony DiCarlo and Robin Hoffman made selfless contributions of time and effort that benefited all of the SFDS teams.