St. Mary’s girls soccer wins Lynn City Soccer Tournament
By Joyce Erekson
The St. Mary’s girls soccer team has enjoyed considerable success in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament over the years but some wins are easier than others.
Classical gave the Spartans a run for their money this year, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first few minutes of the championship game Saturday at Manning Field, but beating back the perennial champs wasn’t in the cards. St. Mary’s won 2-1. The Spartans have now won the tournament, which began in 2005, 11 of the last 13 years.
St. Mary’s controlled play and probably would have won a bit more handily had it not been for the play of Classical goalie Carly Mendonca, who pretty much stood on her head, particularly in the second half, to keep the Rams in the hunt until the final whistle.
“She (Mendonca) has been a terrific goaltender,” Classical coach Mark Ierardi said “She’s known for making big saves at big times. It was a 2-1 game. It could have gone either way. It went right down to the wire. I’m sure the fans enjoyed it. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Classical sophomore Isabel McGaughey scored four minutes into the game, but the Spartans tied it up 10 minutes later on a goal by freshman midfielder Susannah Cornell. St. Mary’s sophomore forward Gaby Diaz-Martinez scored what would be the game-winner with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Once the Spartans had the lead, the defense took over and kept the Rams a healthy distance from the St. Mary’s net and goalie Alex Iacoviello. Senior midfielder Mia Nickolakopoulos, who was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, was a force in the midfield for the Spartans while defenders Jill Gentile, Morgan Mackey, Caitlin Foley and Joslyn Deschenes got the job done as well. With the win, St. Mary’s started off its first full week of the season with a 2-0 record. Classical fell to 1-1 (1-2 after a loss to Saugus on Monday).
“Defensively we really controlled the play,” Foley said. “Defense is always our game, but we need to score more. That’s one of our weaknesses right now.”
Although he would have liked to see his team bring home the city title, first-year Classical head coach Mark Ierardi had a lot to be happy about in the loss.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Ierardi said. “But I’m so proud of the girls. If we play with this sort of effort every game, we’re going to win a lot of games. “
Foley also expected a tough game and got it.
“They (Classical) are hungry. They want to win. They have a new coach and they have a new system,” Foley said. “Their goalie (Mendonca) made some great plays. If she wasn’t there I think that score would have been different.”
Classical won the opening game of the tournament 8-0 against Tech. Julia Jordan had a hat trick and Olivia White had two goals. St. Mary’s topped English, 3-0, in the first game with goals from Cornell, Diaz-Martinez and Mia Hatfield. English won the consolation game against Tech, 6-0. The Bulldogs had a pair of goals from Alex Zayas and single goals from Ravyn Rapley, Sydney Denham, Lauren Moorehouse and Katelyn Bowden.
St. Mary’s boys soccer reigns at Lynn City Soccer Tournament
By Joyce Erekson
It came down to who would blink first and Classical lost.
St. Mary’s and Classical played for bragging rights in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament boys championship game Saturday at Manning Field and for a time it looked like overtime might be in the cards.
The game was scoreless until the 73rd minute when the Rams were called for a handball and the Spartans were awarded a direct kick just outside the box. Junior Nolan Perez got the call and with 6:54 remaining on the clock he got the job done, going top shelf, far corner. The Spartans hung on the rest of the way for a 1-0 win.
“I know that they were expecting something else, but Nolan got a beautiful foot (on it) and beautiful placement. I knew he was going to put it in,” St. Mary’s coach Mike D’Agostino said. “He’s got a great touch.”
The win was particularly sweet for the Spartans, who were looking to right the ship after losing to English, 3-1, in the championship game last year. St. Mary’s went on to have a stellar year, despite the early loss, but getting back the city title was the first order of business for the Spartans this year.
It was a freshman, Greyson Pane, who seemed to wake up the Spartans when he rang a shot off the crossbar from about 35 yards. The shot off the rebound went over the net, but the near misses were enough to jolt the offense.
“That was the key turning point for us,” D’Agostino said. “It got us moving offensively.”
The Spartans had a flurry of opportunities in the second half, including a couple of beauties by junior Joseph Thongsythavong, but Classical goalie Daniel Cortes kept the Rams in the game with several outstanding saves.
“He kept us in the game against Tech as well (the Rams won the opener against the Tigers, 2-1),” Classical coach Dominick Steadman said.
Steadman said when he moved Cortes into the net last year it made a huge difference almost immediately.
“The confidence we have in him and his team has in him (is well-placed). He’s proven us right. He made some big saves during a key stretch,” Steadman said.
As far as the direct kick that decided the game, Steadman said there was little Cortes could do.
“The kid (Perez) put a great shot on net. It was one of those ones you almost can’t save unless you know where it’s going,” he said.
Steadman was encouraged with the way his team played despite the loss. He cited captain Kevin Molina-Orelana for the job he did defending one of the Spartans top players, Chris Garcia. He was also pleased with his defense and the job it did keeping the St. Mary’s strikers from getting through.
Connor Mackey took home the game’s Most Valuable Player Award. The St. Mary’s junior had the task of shutting down Molina-Orelano, D’Agostino said. He didn’t disappoint.
“Connor stepped up his game and shut down No. 9 (Molina-Orelano),” D’Agostino said. “He won every ball in the back.”
The Rams, behind Gabriel Novoa’s two goals, defeated Tech, 2-1, to reach the final and St. Mary’s topped English, 3-1. Chris Garcia had a pair of goals and Thiago De Oliviera had one for the Spartans. Tech won the consolation game, 7-1. Gio Ramirez scored four goals for the Tigers.