Springfield Catholic – 1
St Vincent Indians – 0
Words can’t do justice to the game played today by the Fightin’ Irish. Coach Ben Timson called upon 17 players today and each brought their A game, consistently battling for 50/50 balls and making the run to support their teammates. Led in the middle by Natalie Smid and Erin Fitzgerald, who are poised to accomplish what no other Irish midfield tandem, or Springfield program for that matter, has achieved, the Lady Irish delivered on their promise today.
The game winner was scored by Smid, from a Carsen Baron set piece following a foul near the right touch line and 35 yards out, in the 55th minute. The ball arrived just outside the 6 yard box, pulling the keeper out where she and her defender lost a battle with Bekah Bade in the air. The ball fell loose and Smid was the first to the ball, collecting it and turning to put her shot just inside the upright before a defender could cover. Well executed, hard work by several players and the most positive of results.
The Irish used up at least one four leaf clover in the process of getting to this point. The game plan, according to defensive leader Carsen Baron, was to concentrate on absorbing the Indian’s attack in the initial stages of the game and then adapt their attack to what they learned about their opponents. What that translated into was a few initial forays down the middle before beginning to use their strength and speed to attack the wings. As they spread the defense, the middle opened up for Fitzgerald and Smid to gain control.
While the Irish had the majority of the play in the final 25 minutes of the first half, the Indians showed flashes of the offensive prowess that got them this far. Junior Rachel Cook delivered two important saves late in the half to keep the Irish tied. The first came as she tipped a shot over the crossbar that had the Irish fans holding their collective breath. She followed that up by taking the ball off of an attackers feet with a fearless dive.
The Irish game-winner came five minutes after an early second half flurry by the Indians, who pushed hard to get the important first goal. Megan Goetzinger and her teammates saw the best St Vincent opportunity bounce off the upright and away in the 50th. As winning teams often do, the Irish capitalized on their good fortune and created their own destiny. It will be a familiar foe, as the face North County’s Trinity Titans tomorrow in the Title game.
Photos will follow soon. And thanks for winning, I’m looking forward to sleeping in!
Trinity Titans – 2
Barstow Knights – 0
Caroline Keppler buries her shot in the 48th min, finishing a ball that came off the crossbar and fell to her 8 yards out. Katie Armet took the original shot. The Titans got an insurance goal in the 70th when Jennifer Eaton and Alexis Jackson worked hard to win a ball on the right touch line. The ball into the middle went to central midfielder Heather Wein who’s initial shot was parried only to be picked up by Marlene King who ran from the left to right in front of the box before cutting her shot back just inside the near upright. It was King’s first goal of the season.
Photos will follow soon
The Title game will be a rematch of last years semifinal game between Trinity, who finished second after beating Catholic, supported by one of the finest goalkeeping displays I saw last Spring. The Titan’s lost to St Vincent’s 3-1 this season and Coach Drake commented on the quality of play the Indian’s displayed all season. The game was early for Trinity, prior to their late season run when they went 8-5 to get back to a positive record and find the form needed to advance to State for the second straight year. The run coincided with a defensive adjustment and the return goalkeeper Taylor Zerbe, out earlier in the season due to concussion.
The Class 1 Title game will feature Springfield Catholic against Trinity. Game time is 4:00 pm.
The Class 1 3rd Place game will feature the St Vincent Indians against Barstow. Game time is 10:00 am.
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