Undefeated SFDS Rookies Rock Soccer Playoffs
The SFDS Rookie (seventh grade) Girls defeated St. Luke by a score of 5- 0 in their Sunday playoff game, bringing them one step closer to another perfect season.
SFDS maintained control from the start. The Girls moved the ball all around the field giving everyone an opportunity to sink one in the back of the net.
The first scoring drive started with Kelly Santiago taking the ball over midfield and giving a lead pass to Nicole Gibson down the left wing. Gibson beat two players, drew the ball back and passed to Maria Di Carlo, who sprung past two players, stepped towards the middle of the field and blasted from outside the 18-yard box up for a quick 1-0 advantage.
To start the second half, Kaitlin Neiswenter, Courtney McCool, Colleen Gallagher, and Lauren Moule opened up the midfield and thwarted any attempts from St. Luke. The defense of Ava Evangelista, Ciara Smith, Alex Weigert and Kate Calciano shut down the opposition. Victoria Stagnitta and Megan Twomey had yet another solid performance, making numerous runs and overlap passing.
The scoring surge picked up when SFDS set to defend a St. Luke goalkick, allowing Gwyn McGee to steal then pass to Nicole Gibson who beat her player to blast the second goal of the game. McGee stayed in playoff mode by stealing another ball from the St. Luke midfielder. Her strong pass fed Lauren Marten who beat two players to stream inside the 18-yard box for what seemed an effortless third goal for SFDS.
Moule stole the ball from the St. Luke forward, passed to Twomey, who beat her opponent down the right wing to place the ball on the foot of Maria. Di Carlo made a fast break down the middle of the field, splitting the defense, and then slid her second goal of the game by the diving goalie, 4-0. The final push came when Mollie Kuhlmann made a pass to Jessica Rivera, who in turn passed to Taylor Tsatsis. She dribbled at top speed, slid a pass to Molly Breslin, who beat the left right fullback, for a shot on goal. The rebound torqued to the midpoint before the goalposts where Megan Twomey was positioned to knock in the final goal of the day. The starting defense of Carli Bopp, Devin Gavigan, Emma Meade and Bridget Breslin held strong as usual, fighting all game, staying on their toes and keeping the midfielders in check. Rose Fay played yet another great game in net for SFDS, keeping her composure, making a few diving saves, all while directing her defensive team. Congrats to all the SFDS seventh grade girls for another solid game.
An early second half score off of Sydney Urban’s corner kick marked the one and only break in the SFDS Pee Wee Girls D and L Teams’ 1-0 playoff match. All the girls on both fourth grade teams played hard and well, with midlines ball-hawking, uplines pressing attacks and defenders rejecting them.
Team-D goalie Molly Murtagh squashed the best challenge to their lead, a shot on goal by Catherine Lunny. Still, ball control, if not always field position, wasn’t often far from Team-D’s grasp. Shut-down marksmanship by Lauren Koenig flushed L-playmakers Grace Lanzetta and Kaysea Jenkusky out of center lanes and passing range to exhaust drives.
Team-D poachers Jillian McCabe and Maggie Murphy forced quick shifts in dual-role play by Kate McNamara, Nina Melchiorri and Annie Burns. Team-L goalie Mollie Abernethy conjured fine saves throughout the game, flatlining rockets and scooping rollers. Urban drew players’ attentions from the ball to her moves, challenging footracers and turning them out, back or down on a divot or at endlines. Her play energized the already charged contest all game long. Look for the same for the Fall Championship.
The SFDS Midget (third grade) Girls G-Team braved the Big Storm’s wind and rain to take on top-seed St. Luke under the dank Throgs Neck Bridge. Despite excellent extra-efforts by all the girls, the home team won 3-0.
Donning hats and gloves, runners Brooke Leahy and Caroline Gifford led with quickness and tenacity. Casey Gilroy, continued her impressive late season development, quietly getting into the thick of the downfield attack. Striker Kaylie Walsh had a strong first half, adding intensity to talent. Midfielder Devin Charles showed no quit. Olivia Stack’s solid goal kicks gave space to regroup. M
Molly Burns, Portia and Fallon Brackley were tough in the trenches, staving off the favored team’s attack.
Two long St. Luke kicks in net gave goalie Shaun Smith a rough go early, but she demoed some fine ball-control in the end. Netminder Kelly Erhard was excellent on patrol, stopping several hard kicks cold.
Coaches Gifford and Leahy are proud of their players for their heart and commitment and look forward to the fun when the season runs round again.