Coming off a loss to Ridge on Saturday, the Morris Catholic girls soccer team was looking to start strong and get early goals against Pequannock on Tuesday.
And that’s exactly what they did. The Crusaders (6-2) scored two goals in the first half and two goals in the second en route to a 4-0 win over the Panthers (7-2) in a key Independence Division matchup.
“We came in with a positive attitude, we wanted to win,” Morris Catholic senior midfielder Taylor Shannahan said. “We knew it was a big game, that’s all coach kept talking about, how big of a conference game this was, and we just got that into our heads. Our warmup was awesome, we were excited, we knew what we were facing and we did the best we could.”
Shannahan put the Crusaders on the board eight minutes into the game when she took a shot that looked like it was going over the net but hooked underneath into the top left corner. Ten minutes later junior forward Jillian Sudo scored on a pass from sophomore forward Rachel Mills that struck the crossbar and bounced back into the goal for a 2-0 lead.
In the second half, sophomore forward Stella Johnson scored 13 minutes in on a pass from Sudo that rolled to the far right corner of the net past Panthers goalie Olivia Schreiber for a 3-0 lead. Junior defender Amanda Hall capped the scoring for the Crusaders with 14 minutes left in the game on a penalty kick.
“I just don’t look at the goalie’s eyes because it makes me nervous and I just know that I’m going left,” said Hall, who is 2-for-2 on penalty kicks this season. “So I just think about the left corner and just aim it there.”
Morris Catholic’s defense held Pequannock to only four shots on goal and senior goalie Jeannie Kivlon made three saves.
“Our defense was awesome, they’re awesome,” Shannahan said. “There’s so much chemistry back there it’s amazing and they keep us in the game. They’re settled back there, the communication is there and Jeannie keeps them intact.”
The Crusaders are rolling at the right time, have won four of the last five games and have outscored opponents 29-2. But the loss to Ridge didn’t bring down the intensity or focus, as Tuesday’s win shows.
“I think it actually really helped us because they’re a really good team and it showed us what we needed to improve on against other teams,” Sudo said of the loss. “I thought it was actually really helpful, I don’t think it brought us down, I think it actually picked us up.”
|Mo. Catholic (6-2)||2||2||–||4|
GOALS: (MC) Shannahan, Sudo, Johnson, Hall. ASSISTS: (MC) Johnson, Mills, Sudo. SAVES: (MC) Kivlon 3; (P) Schreiber 14.