Hope Ends SFDS Eighth Grade Girls Title Chase
Unfortunately, someone forgot to notify Mother Nature about the importance of the match, because about one hour before game time the 'heavens' opened-up and turned the Ft. Tilden field into a scene out of Woodstock, 1969.
SFDS was coming-off a season in which they lost only one match and had breezed through the quarter finals. St. Virgilius had started-off slow ly, but picked-up their play as the season progressed, as evidenced by their shocking defeat of a strong St. Margaret's team in the quarter finals.
The muddy field proved to be an equalizer in that it negated the speed factor of SFDS, whose offense was keyed on the play of star mid-fielder, Therese Boyle. Since the center of the field was up to 1 inch deep in water, most of action was forced to the sides of the field. It allowed a few St. Vir - gilius defenders to chase and frustrate Boyle for most of the day.
SFDS was still able to take a 1-0 lead at halftime Amy McManus scored the one goal (her third of the playoffs) in the 20th minute off of a beautiful pass from Casey McDade.
Both defenses played strong as the second half began. SFDS' Therese Boyle finally solved the St. Virgilius defense (and the field conditions) when she netted a goal about 15 minutes into the second-half, thus allowing Coach Sean Shevlin to breathe.
Boyle scored again later in the half and SFDS was able to escape with a tough 3-0 win.
The coach and his players celebrated with a dip in the midfield mud bath, except for Gabby Donofrio, who was seen sprinting towards her mother's car at the mere mention of mud.
A lot of credit must be given to the SFDS defenders: Ginna Davan, Anna Charles, Stephanie Zwirn, Meaghan Shevlin, Gabby Donofrio, Devan Scon - zo, and Victoria Rivara, who played their best game of the year. Goalie Raina Dziuk also played well as her punts allowed SFDS to pick up the ball at midfield.
The following day, Sunday, Nov 15, was the polar opposite of Saturday, in more ways than one. Sun and a temperature of 65 degrees greeted SFDS when they traveled to Brennan Field to meet perennial rival, Our Lady of Hope (Hope), for the Diocesan Championship.
SFDS suffered their only loss of the season to Hope, so they knew this would not be an easy match.
As in the semi-finals defense controlled the play from the outset. The only goal of the first half was scored about midway through when Hope scored directly off of a corner kick, the ball bending-in just over the outstretch ed arms of goalie Raina Dziuk.
The score remained 1 - 0 until 12 minutes into the second half, when Hope took advantage of SFDS' inability to clear the ball out of their own end and scored on a turnover. They scored again with four minutes remaining and the game ended in a 3 - 0 loss for SFDS.
It was a tough loss for the girls because this was their last game for St. Francis. But they can hold their heads high knowing that they left everything out on the field.
Even the girls who did not receive their normal playing time can be proud of the way they carried themselves during the match.
By cheering-on their teammates and not complaining, they demonstrated true sportsmanship and exemplified what makes-up a winning team.