Varsity Completes Team Win Against McNick

Posted on: August 28, 2019
Girls Soccer

Rich Mulvaney coached his Spartan soccer team to his first win as the girls’ program head coach ‪on Saturday night, a 4-0 victory over neighborhood rival McNicholas at Spartan Stadium.

 A big crowd was on hand to support the home team as the game kicked off. The Spartans quickly won possession, which culminated in a shot on the Rockets’ goal within the first minute of play.

 Despite this early test, the game evened out, with both teams competing to establish possession in the midfield. While each squad was able to get endline, the Spartans struck first in the eighth minute. Senior Forward Victoria King chased down a wide shot at the top of the Rockets’ 18 and found the feet of classmate Ella Tierney flying down the sideline. Her cross hit a third Senior, midfielder Kerianne White, in the six yard box, who put her body on the ball and knocked it into the net.

 McNick had a chance to draw even 10 minutes later, with a beautifully struck corner dropped into the middle of the crowded Spartans’ six. Keeper Brooke Heis rose above everyone to punch the ball high and wide, clearing the threat.

The remainder of the half saw even play in what became a gritty game of containment. McNick managed to thwart Turpin’s efforts to focus on possession, while the Spartans’ smothering defense and midfield, led by Seniors Emma Smith, Kallista Rogers and Ceci Malagari, neutralized the Rockets’ attempts to go to goal.

 In the second, Turpin came out on the attack. While they couldn’t find the final pass they wanted in the opening minutes of the half, it was clear that the home team was determined to put more points on the board. Three minutes in, Victoria King hustled to save a long pass toward the sideline from going out. She gathered the ball and sent it across the 18. Kerianne White, streaking toward goal inside her defender, deflected the ball into the net from six yards out for her second tally of the day.

 Six minutes later, King, sitting in a seam between defenders, ran on to a ball sent over the top of the Rockets’ backline. She took a quick chance, shooting just past the surprised McNick keeper who was standing at the 18-yard line. The ball hit the far post and angled in to the net for the third goal of the match.

 McNick, though, suddenly found its game, putting together a long stretch of possession. They began to connect passes and take shots, spending a lot of time in the Spartans’ half of the field. Turpin keeper Brooke Heis made a shutout saving play, when she dove into a knot of players to take the ball off the foot of a Rockets forward. 

 Despite the swing in momentum, the game had stretched out, giving the Spartans plenty of opportunities to attack in transition. One of these runs led to the Spartans’ fourth score of the game, when a cross from the foot of midfielder Evie Rollman careened off a defender for an own goal.

 Despite constant pressure from McNick, who had only doubled-down on their attack, the Spartans’ defense held strong, and the score remained 4-0 for the Turpin win.

 Coach Mulvaney said after the game, “We earned the victory on a total collaborative effort of the team. I was pleased to see how the things we have been focusing on in training were executed within the game.”

 The Spartans’ Senior leadership and team effort will be increasingly important as the squad enters into the meat of its schedule, facing Lakota East and Mercy McAuley this week.