Rookie Girls Reign, Midgets’ Match Goes PK, Novices Rescheduled
The SFDS Rookie Girls beat Blessed Trinity by a score of 3-1 to take home their fourth championship in five years. The teams battled for control of the midfield from the initial whistle. SFDS kept the flow and pressure on Blessed Trinity, rushing their passing, and so giving SFDS a slight advantage.
Blessed Trinity took a goal kick which sailed over the SFDS heads to midfielder Nicole Gibson. Gibson dribbled the ball from midfield, dumped the pass off to Molly Breslin, who dished a perfect pass onto the foot of Maria Di Carlo. Di Carlo took a step inside the 18-yard box and blasted a goal past Trinity’s goalie, opening the score 1-0.
SFDS did not let down from there. They kept the pressure on, and continued to attack, causing Blessed Trinity to change tactics. Trinity continued to push with Erin Kennedy and Katie Sammon trying to work their magic, but they could not gain momentum to hit the back of the net.
SFDS kept the pressure on Trinity’s fullbacks, gaining numerous corner kicks. Di Carlo sent a corner kick into the goal box, onto the foot of Gwyn McGee, who one-timed the ball into the corner of the net, giving SFDS a 2-0 lead.
The game continued to go back and forth from 18-yard box to 18-yard box with few shots on goal from either team. SFDS was able to get one more break down the right wing. Lauren Marten gained control of a pass from Colleen Gallagher. Marten managed a long pass towards the corner to a sprinting Molly Breslin, who beat her player and reached the ball first. Breslin got inside the box, dribbled closer to the 6-yard box, and neatly tucked the third and final goal in for SFDS. Blessed Trinity made a late push on goal after a direct kick was awarded. They took a shot from outside the 18- yard box and placed it over goalie Rose Fay’s reach, making the score 3-1.
The entire team deserves recognition for yet another amazing season; Carli Bopp, Devin Gavigan, Megan Twomey, Kelly Santiago, Courtney McCool, Victoria Stagnitta, Kaitlin Neiswenter, Mollie Kuhlmann, Kate Calciano, Emma Meade, Ava Evangelista, Ciara Smith, Jessica Rivera, Bridget Breslin, Taylor Tsatsis, Lauren Moule and Alex Weigert. The team received congratulations from their coach and parents for yet another great season.
The Midget Girls played their gig game under the lights of the big Broad Channel field. SFDS and St. Luke’s fans lined the fence from endzone to infield cheering out into the night air hanging over their teams. The thickets opposite threatened to swallow anything out-of-bounds.
It was a cold night for a first go at a Diocesan title and it took penalty kicks to settle it in St. Luke’s favor. Goalie Corinne Connelly was in fine form by clamping down on many shots on goal attempts through 4 scoreless halves. A yeoman defense frustrated the Luke attack, with breakaway-busting by Colleen Bambury, Lauren Dean and Bridget Donnelly and tireless trenchwork by Lauren Kelly, Jillian Schneider, Emily Redpath and Julia Redpath.
Midfielders Nicole Moran, Siobhan Twomey and Kathleen Schmitt kicked out the stops on the widest field they’d patrolled and broke out the pom-poms along the narrow sideline. Two-way playmakers Eva Powers-Velasquez and Kiera Price hustled to seize ball control. Speedy Mairead Buckley and Disneyfied Kaitlyn Potter managed exciting breaks through the St. Luke’s backfield. The Forward Force of Chloe Murphy, Julie Necka-Huptysiowska and Maeve Murnan reliably spearheaded the SFDS attack.
But as in the first meeting between these two teams, there wasn’t enough time for a typical goal. The deciding fourth round PK goal was exceptional for a third-grader. The catapult that rang the crossbar’s center, high above any adult’s reach, was stopped by the SFDS keeper on its bounce, but it raised an eerie doubt that it had crossed the line.
Yet the score was confirmed, and the Midgets season ended. Though quite shaken, SFDS shook the victors’ hands. They then held each other’s hands high in one proud SFDS cheer.
Nearly a month ago, St. Mel’s novice (fifth grade) girls team earned a playoff berth in surprise fashion, by handing SFDS its only regular season loss. It wasn’t until the start of the week that the back to back champions SFDS learned they would meet Cinderella Mel’s in the finals. And although both teams showed to compete on Wednesday, Broad Channel’s field wasn’t ready for them. This final game is waiting for a date. Without even a kick, it’s already suspenseful.