The fact that Ursuline Academy ended St. Joe’s soccer season last year in the district finals, winning 3-2 in penalty kicks didn’t set well this winter. That was something to chew about during the off season.
The Angels wiped the slate clean with a hard-fought 2-1 win on a hot sultry day on their lush home turf Tuesday afternoon.
The Angels scored twice early, then hung on for the victory. There were no goals scored by either team in the second half.
Sophomore Alli Magaletta headed in the initial goal, rolling off the finger tips of freshman goal keeper Emily Pilla of the Bears. Pilla played brilliantly, the rest of the way, including stopping some break-aways head on.
Magaletta scored the first goal 9 minutes 24 seconds into the game and got her second goal of the game and the season at the 27:49 minute mark in the first half. The assist went to Kaley Nieters.
“I was thinking just one thing. And that was get that ball into the net,” said Magaletta. “I was a little nervous but scoring those goals really took the pressure off. It was a great game and both goalies (Melissa Powers of St. Joe) and Pilla played great.”
Claire Champion enjoyed the victory. “This was an exciting win. They beat us in districts on penalty kicks last year,” said Champion.
One of Champion’s key roles is taking the corner kicks. “We’ve tried different people and it just seems to work out for me. I figure as the season goes on the girls will get more used to my kicks and score more headers and we go on.”
The game was tightly checked in both halves. The Angels kept Ursuline standout Maddie Friedmann mostly away from the goal mouth.
Gabrielle Lucy sophomore midfielder scored Ursuline’s only goal coming on a break away with 3:05 left in the half, cutting the lead in half. The assist went to Caroline Brockhaus.
Maureen McVey, veteran St. Joe coach was happy to open the season with a win. They lost two players in the game to serious injuries.
Nina Simon, sophomore defender will be lost several weeks with a serious concussion. Midfielder, sophomore Marigrace Ragsdale was sent home early with a knee injury.
“Allie Dressel really stepped in when (Nina) Simon was injured,” said McVey. “We have a tough schedule of games this week, and we could have played Ursuline first or later on. I’m glad we played them today.”
Annie Beekman, Ursuline's new coach was gracious in defeat. “This game was fun, it was a real battle. There was a lot of talent out there on the field. Our team plays with a lot of heart and passion and we will contend in conference,” she promised.
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