Photo credits to Bob Dahlberg
On Saturday afternoon, the girls’ soccer team fell to the Saint Francis Lancers in the CCS open division finals.
After the game, senior defender Susie Wagstaff said, “It was definitely sad to lose in such a big game, but I am still happy we were able to make school history by getting here.”
Immediately after kickoff, the Lancers put the Bears under pressure. Saint Francis wasted no time on the attack, forcing M-A to give up an early corner-kick in the first two minutes of the game.
The Lancers continued their offensive strategy, forcing another corner in the seventh minute of the game. The ball was played into the box and knocked into the back of the net, leaving the scoreline at 1-0 with M-A trailing. Minutes later, as the Bears were trying to move the ball up the field, Saint Francis stole it and shot from outside the box into the bottom corner, leaving M-A down 2-0 just 25 minutes into the game.
M-A started to show some prowess on the attack and started to gain some confidence as the half progressed. The Bears had a promising chance with 19 minutes left in the first half, which resulted in a shot off the crossbar from sophomore Alessia Bolaños. M-A had another close call that was stopped as the M-A forward was pulled down.
M-A had another very promising chance late in the first half, which resulted in the Lancers Goalkeeper coming out and missing the ball. The last defender back from Saint Francis cleared the ball off the line out for a corner.
The Bears continued to have chances and grew into the game and closed the half down 2-0.
The second half started with renewed energy from both teams. An early chance from M-A forced the Saint Francis goalkeeper to make an early save. Saint Francis followed up with a big chance that narrowly went over the crossbar.
The Lancers attack was unfortunately too much for the Bears to handle as another attack resulted in an own goal from the Bears, but the ref blew the whistle before the ball was in the net.
Shortly after this bit of luck for the Bears, Saint Francis had a shot into the top corner from 25 yards out, leaving the Bears down 3-0 with just 30 minutes left in the game. Saint Francis almost added another goal to the score line soon after their third, after a shot off the crossbar and a follow-up shot just wide. Senior goalkeeper Gigi Edwards denied the Lancers on a separate opportunity, diving to her left and catching the ball with 23 minutes left in the game.
The M-A attack started to slow down as the half winded down. With 14 minutes left, a referee injury temporarily stopped the game. During this stoppage, M-A made a lot of subs in an effort to spring a comeback.
Despite their efforts, the Bears were unsuccessful in doing so, and Saint Francis began to dominate the game again. The Bears had their dreams crushed as the game unfortunately didn’t go their way. However, they still made school history being the first girls’ soccer team to qualify for the Open Division Finals.
Junior defender Avery Galles said, “I am still so proud of what this team has accomplished this season, it is definitely a season to build on next year and I am super excited to try and get back to this position next year.”
Edwards also added, “It was definitely a tough way to go out, but the important thing is that we got here and had fun along the way, this team has been so close and connected all year and that is really what got us here.”