SFDS-Trinity Matches Highlight Strong First Round Of CYO Playoffs
St. Francis' Fifth Grade Girls, the previously never-defeated defending champions, were knocked out of the play offs by their peninsula rivals by a score of 1-0. In a hard fought battle in the midfield for most of the game, SFDS was unable to slip one past the solid goaltending of Erin Kennedy. She made stop after stop and Trinity's defense was impenetrable holding off SFDS.
Blessed Trinity was able to break the scoreless game from a set play from a corner kick which made its way into the middle of the goal box and on the foot of Nora Young, who scored her first goal of the season. In the second half, again the battle was back and forth but SFDS was unable to capitalize. Con - gratulations on another wonderful season. The Fifth Grade girls wish their friends from Blessed Trinity all the best in the championship game.
The other SFDS-Trinity game was an epic battle between the Third Grade Boys' teams. After splitting home and away games during the regular season, it was sure to be an exciting contest. It was a game for the ages that will be re - ferred to as "the pandemonium on the peninsula" for some time to come.
Despite starting the game with four fullbacks, Trinity was able to capitalize on some early defensive miscues and take an early 2-0 lead. Things felt bleak for St. Francis.
The momentum began to swing after a push to the backside of all-star John Baroudas was called inside the box. The automatic Kevin Connelly took the kick and did not disappoint, bringing St. Francis within one.
As the half wound down Kennedy "Captain" Kirk found himself isolated on attack with few Blessed defenders around and tied the game with a beautiful left hook of a kick to knot the game up at two apiece.
The second half turned out to be a tug of war sort of scrum for field position and attempts to penetrate the other's defense. Jack Mullally, John Walsh, Aidan Smith and Donato Somer ville gave themselves up for their team in the melee that was the second half. James Fox and Ryan Fitz - gerald of Trin ity proved once again to be the feared opponents that they always are and Tim Moran, Shane Coll ins and Conner Powers were tremendous contributors for the boys from Breezy.
However, the impregnable combination of Kevin Murphy and Kevin Connelly on defense combined with the lockdown effort of Joe Braskey in goal kept the door shut on Breezy. The match headed for overtime. After the first five minute overtime period and halfway through the second this battle seemed destined for a shootout.
That was when fate and a mixture of Franciscan attackers and midfielders stepped in and made a hard push to - ward the goal. St Francis' most im - proved player of the season, James Carson, managed to put one just past the Trinity keeper and put St. Francis on top. The gritty contributions of Anthony Markle, Brian Keane, Sean Thornton and Billy Lathan ensured the boys held on and came out victorious earning the right to battle the un - defeated Our Lady of Grace squad next weekend in the championship game.
Every player from both squads should be proud just to have competed in this blood, sweat and tears sort of contest and hold their heads high in victory and defeat. The hard work and determination of the entire Frannie roster made this come from behind victory possible.
Seventh seed St. Luke's was intent on an upset against our Eighth Grade Girls. After Hannah Cummins converted a Casey McDade feed to put SFDS up 1-0, the visitors raised their game, resulting in exciting two-way action and a 1-0 score at halftime.
St. Francis regained its form in the second half. Shortly after Ciara Flynn doubled the lead with a kung-fu kick, Casey McDade raced 60 yards down the right sideline and sent a perfect cross to Amy McManus, who scored her first of two. It was a backbreaker for St. Luke's. Meghan King and Annie Reinhardt also tallied. Luke's ladies kept up the good fight and scored in the final seconds to end their season with a bright spot. St. Francis (9-1) advances to play St. Virgilius in the semifinals Saturday.
The Fifth Grade Boys played their semifinal game against St. Mar - garet's and won 6-2. Margaret came out strong finding the net first. Sales bounced right back. James Carlton (2 goals), who was on fire throughout the game, got de Sales right back into the game after five minutes with a blast into the net.
It was great timing for James Mun - son, who broke the tie with his first goal of the season. Kyle Hoffman was able to break through the defense to give SFDS its third goal. Mario Cimino also had a hot foot scoring two goals. Sebastian Tobar played awesome at defense with his aggressive plays in the back field. Roland Wertz contributed in the last half with his powerful kicks. Luca Bartoli and Danny Lynch used their speed and quick passes to assist in several goals. 'Magic Gloves' Savino did a great job again with his talking and leading the team in the back field.
In non-playoff action, the First
Grade Girls stormed Our Lady of Hope's compact field, cracking six goals while allowing none, to improve to 3- 6. Siobhan Toomey capped a centered, first-scoring surge and later led pursuit of toss-ins and corner kicks.
Strong legged Maevre Murnan rack - ed up two goals, including a PK score, and dribbled with both feet through seams. Steadfast Caroline Gifford scored a team-high three goals, netting every shot she took. Good luck and quick reflexes graced Goalie Shaunie Smith and partner Corinne Connelly, who turned 360 to stop a sneaky, slow roller from spoiling the shutout.