This fall, goals haven't been easy to come by for the Mount St. Joseph Academy soccer team. Last Thursday afternoon on Brabson Field, the Magic ended up with a zero on their side of the scoreboard …
This fall, goals haven't been easy to come by for the Mount St. Joseph Academy soccer team. Last Thursday afternoon on Brabson Field, the Magic ended up with a zero on their side of the scoreboard for a third consecutive contest, but at least this time they also blanked their opponents.
After regulation play and 20 minutes of overtime action, the Mounties and visiting Merion Mercy Academy came away with a final tally of 0-0, leaving the Magic with a record of 0-2-1 this autumn. Sophomore goalie Giana Argano went the distance for the host team, and logged seven saves for the shutout.
As the game got underway the Magic made a few early attacks, but their first shot tracked well above the Golden Bears' cage. Most of these initial sorties were launched along the right wing with the help of senior captain Cayla Higginson. Later on, speedy sophomore Meg Kelemick made a number of rushes on the opposite side of the field.
Merion didn't often penetrate as deeply into MSJ territory, although the visitors were able to possess the ball fairly well in the midfield. With 30 seconds to play in the first period Mount junior Katie McGovern got off a strong outside shot, but the ball went a little high and wide to the left of the goal.
The visitors controlled a greater share of the action after the intermission, although not by much. The Magic would often have players get loose on solo attacks, but most times the other Mounties did not make supporting runs, and the player up front would be outnumbered by the defense. Merion, on the other hand, did a better job of moving numbers of players up the pitch together.
Over the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Mount's Kelemick took the ball into the box on the left and got off a shot, and junior Delaney Mattson let loose from out on the right wing. Both balls went straight to the Merion goalie, and this would continue to be a problem for the Mount offense, as players seemed to fixate on the goalie instead of on open space in the cage.
After the Mount's early offensive forays, Merion made a countercharge around the 10-minute mark, but the visiting forward had the ball taken away by Mount senior defender Ava Picofazzi.
Closer to the middle of the period, Merion sent in a promising shot from out on the right wing, but Argano, the MSJ keeper, blocked it at the near post. The ball popped up in the air, but Argano was able to grab it when it came down.
As regulation play began to wind down the Magic earned several corner kicks, which were taken by Mattson. On one of them, sophomore Meghan Hughes got a foot on the ball in the box, chipping the ball a little above the crossbar.
The game proceeded into overtime, and it stretched the full 20 minutes as neither side could come up with the golden goal. Mattson sent in a nice corner kick from the air in the middle of the first OT period, but the Merion goalie punched the ball out of the box.
In the final minute of the second overtime, Mount senior Emily Friel was chasing a through pass that crossed the Golden Bears' 18, only to have the keeper beat her to the ball by a step or two. Still, Mount supporters were pleased to see their team keep attacking right up until the end of this extended contest. Sooner or later, the ball will have to make its way into the goal.