SFDS Girls Earn Four Soccer Crowns; Eighth Grade Boys Are CYO Kings
St. Francis de Sales capped off another successful soccer season with five Diocesan Championships and one runner up. St. Francis’ third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls captured titles; the eighth grade boys finished off a perfect final season.
The Fifth Grade Girls faced Blessed Trinity in a rematch of last year’s championship, hoping to complete a three-peat. Blessed Trinity is always a worthy opponent so the girls knew they needed to be at the top of their game. The offensive charge was led by Katie Marquardt who scored midway through the half off a beautiful pass from Breanne McDonnell.
Katie Barrett, Lindsay DeBoer, Megan Duffy and Kelly Ward were superb on the wings, using the lanes to feed the ball into the strikers. It seemed that SFDS would soon have its second goal when Maddie McDade crossed a beautiful pass right in front of the BT net.
Caroline Kelly managed to find the back of the net as the BT goalie struggled to control the ball. The goal was called back and SFDS went back to work. Kaleigh Gilroy and Rebecca Boland kept the pressure on in the front line, fighting for every ball.
In the midfield, Makalya Beehler, Ashley Kelly and Carly McCann did a tremendous job controlling the ball and feeding it forward. Last, but certainly not least, the defensive line was tremendous, sending BT shots back with huge soaring kicks. Hannah Nicholson, Angelina Meringolo, Kerrianne Blum and Taylor Slakman all shined in the backfield.
SFDS continued to put the pressure on in the second half. Grace DeCresenzo, Shannon Dzuik and Jessica Buckley paced the midfield keeping pressure on the BT front line. Elizabeth Clark and Sydney O’Brien worked hard from the left side and were able to convert a few shots but the BT goalie had other plans, stopping each one. Jessica Morelli had a tremendous game, sending a direct kick into the goal box but BT goalie Katie McDonough made one of a number of fantastic saves. As the game neared the end, Blessed Trinity breathed new life into their play, bringing the ball into SFDS territory. Claire Hughes, Jessica Morelli and Makayla Beehler formed the Big Blue Wall and managed to shut down each attempt. As usual, Sinead Gallagher performed outstandingly in goal, making all the key saves when necessary and clearing the ball into BT territory. As time ran out, SFDS managed to hold onto its 1-0 lead and gain the championship once again.
Congratulations to every member of the team for their dedication over the season. The coaches say they are very proud of the team members’ effort and, more importantly, their friendship with each other. A special shoutout is given to those parents who are so supportive and serve as a tremendous cheering section. “They are TRUE BLUE,” say the coaches, who add. “Waka Waka Eh Eh!”
On Saturday, the Fourth Grade Girls capped off their season with their second Diocesan Championship. The Girls defeated their rivals, Hope, 5-1. Hannah Harkins started off the scoring with a side kick to the corner of the net, and then Jillian Machado had a beautiful break-away and blasted the ball in the upper part of net. Harkins and Machado scored another two goals and then Chrissy Diehm finished off Hope with an exclamatory goal.
The SFDS defense was relentless by shooing away any attempt that Hope made. The great defensive plays consistently came from Francesca Agoglia, Elizabeth Meringolo, Elizabeth Carmody, Kate Wrynn, Victoria Inga and Victoria Meier.
Jillan Howard, Kelsey Flynn and Alex Dadario speed could not be stopped as they fought their way up the field. Carolyn Diehm, Ginger Kuhlmann and Megan Reinhart pushed the ball up the field from midfield to help the forwards score. Reilly Mangano, Taylor Scaccia and Ryan Carlton played aggressively and centered the ball from the wing position. Rian Courtney had great team spirit – she was on the injured list most of the season, but came to most of the games to cheer on her teammates.
The goaltending of Paige Humphrey and Elizabeth Meringolo only allowed 3 goals the whole season! The Girls outscored their opponents this season 53- 3. All their hard work paid off and they deserve great accolades. Coaches Bella and Jimmy say they could not be more proud of the Girls.
The Sixth Grade Girls dethroned the defending champions, Blessed Trinity, winning by a score of 2- 0. In a hard fought battle which could have gone either way, SFDS pressed forward and came out on top. The first half of the game was a battle of field position as the score stayed 0-0.
The second half started the same way until the last 15 minutes of the game. A loose ball in midfield was capitalized on by Carli Bopp, who moved the ball to Mollie Kuhlmann up the right sideline. She was able to get the ball to the middle, on the foot of Emma Meade, who then made a move on a Blessed Trinity player, turned inside and placed it on the foot of Maria Di Carlo. She looked up, and blasted a shot into the lower left corner of the net breaking the tie and giving SFDS the lead 1-0.
About 10 minutes later, Nicole Gibson received a pass down the left side from Kaitlin Neiswenter, moved toward the left corner. Gibson saw the opportunity to take her patented right-foot shot from the 18-yard box and curved the ball into the net to solidify the victory for SFDS.
Goalie Rose Fay made numerous saves stopping Trinity from ever hitting the back of the net. The team missed Kelly Santiago due to a broken arm but promised to win it for her. Each girl should be recognized for her contribution to the team this season and for another tremendous game; Emma, Maria, Molly, Kelly, Megan, Courtney, Nicole, Devin, Lauren, Kaitlin, Alex, Gwyn, Mollie, Victoria, Emma, Lauren, Kate, Ciara, Ava, Carli, Taylor, Bridget, Jessica, and Rose.
It is rare for a parish to enter two outstanding teams in the same age group. The Third Grade Girls were two such teams. After each posting nine-win regular seasons, the girls met in the championship game. Team #1 avenged a regular-season loss and got the best of Team #2 by a score of 3-1. A flurry of goals late in the first half expanded SFDS1’s 1-0 edge to 3-1.
The regular season champs from SFDS2 kept the pressure on all second half but could not break through against SFDS1’s stellar defense. SFDS2’s coach would like to congratulate the champs and tell her girls that they exceeded her expectations for the season. She is thankful for the time and dedication the girls put in for the season.
On the boys’ side, St. Francis brought home gold and a silver medal. The Sixth Grade Boys won the South division and finished as Diocesan runner-up. The Eighth Grade Boys won the championship in their final year and go into retirement on top. The story of their triumphs will be in next week’s Wave.
In the non-championship divisions, the Second Grade Girls (Team 1) closed out a fantastic season. After a few attempts, Kaylie Walsh scored first for SFDS1 with a quick goal soon after by Megan Murray leaving Hope2 stunned. Hope2 came back to make it a tie, but not for long. SFDS attackers Olivia Stack, Caroline Gifford and Kaitlyn Potter charged on. Midfielders Jennifer Quagliariello, Shaun Smith and Sophia Keeler felt the momentum of the crowd.
Kaylie Walsh came through with her second goal of the game as Makayla Braskey, Molly Burns and Brooke Leahy raced the field with Fallon Brackley as she got to the net only to have the ball pop out by inches. Seconds later, the ball went in off an opposing player giving SFDS1 the win 4-2. Headers: With St. Francis’ girls grabbing four titles and Blessed Trinity netting at least three second-place finishes, it was a great CYO season for the ladies from Rockaway ... In the playoff-eligible divisions, St. Francis’ 16 teams compiled a regular season record of 105-36-16.