Girls' soccer blows by mcmahon Jonathan Kaner and Alex Reiner

Staples girls’ soccer (11-2-3) defeated the Brien McMahon Senators (7-8-1) 2-1 in the second round of the class LL state championship at Loeffler Field on Friday, Nov. 11. Staples was the ninth seed and McMahon was the 25th seed.

The Wreckers’ offense was fueled by Tia Zajec ’17, Bucknell University commit, while goalie Anna Sivinski ’18 cemented the defense with six saves on the day.

Tia Zajec '17 brings the ball up the pitch.

Although the match started slowly, Zajec was able to put Staples on the board with a bullet from 20 yards out into top corner of the net 10 minutes into the game. "It was really exciting to be able to put the team ahead during such an important game," Zajec said.

Staples was able to continue their offensive pressure and gained many scoring opportunities, but was not able to capitalize. They almost added another goal when a free kick was crossed into the box, but the strong wind carried it towards goal, and it hit the crossbar before going out of play.

Morgan McWhirter '17 clears the ball upfield.

Throughout the first half, McMahon’s defense continued to feel Zajec’s presence. With 13 minutes left in the half, she took a rip from well outside the box, but was saved by a diving Tatiana Arias, McMahon’s keeper.

Arianna Gerig ’20 added on to the Wreckers' lead in the 31st minute with a shot from the top of the box after receiving a through ball.

Arianna Gerig's '20 scores for the Wreckers to make it 2-0.

After halftime, the Senators appeared stronger by keeping possession and creating offensive attacks. They were rewarded for their tenacity when Peyton McNamara of the Senators found the back of the net with 33 minutes remaining in the match to cut Staples’ lead in half.

The Wreckers' defense, lead by Olivia Ronca ’18, Morgan McWhirter ’17, Mia Gonzalez '20 and Catherine Sprouls '19, was able to withstand McMahon’s offensive pressure after letting in the one goal. Their defense was able to prevent the Senators from tying the game.

"Today we proved we can withstand pressure for basically a whole half and also capitalize on our opportunities," Sivinski said. “We did our jobs and got the result that we needed.”

Kathryn Ialeggio '20 dribbles up the field.

Coach Barry Beattie was pleased that his team was able to stick to their gameplan of angling out, keeping the ball on the ground, and creating space.

Beattie is also proud of how his team has performed so far this season. "The second round of states this year was a huge accomplishment," Beattie said.

The Wreckers celebrate Arianna Gerig's '20 goal.

The Wreckers' next challenge is on Monday, Nov. 14, when they take on the top ranked and defending champion Glastonbury Tomahawks in the class LL quarterfinal.

Credits:

Photos by Jonathan Kaner

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