The Class 2 Crusader’s squad came to Frontenac on the heels of their recent win at Incarnate Word, a 1-0 affair that was decided on a corner kick late in the first half. Like that win, St Dominic shut out their second straight MWAA White large school program today by a 1-0 score.
The goal was scored in the 21st minute by sophomore Becca Roth on a set piece. A free kick by sophomore Allison Birke from the right touchline near the center of the pitch was delivered to the top of the box. Junior Cristina Rodriguez flicked the ball on and it fell to Roth on the left side. One touch toward the goal, her half-volley went just over the keepers hands before settling in the back of the net.
The match was a lively affair, despite the heat. For the Angel’s, Coach McVey went deep into her bench with frequent substitutions as St Joseph worked hard to create opportunities. Working from a modified 4-4-2, St Joseph was on the attack for much of the first half but the St Dominic’s defense is pretty impressive.
Playing with 3 defenders, led by Birke (#8) in the center, a pair of speedy wingers in Sydni Young (#15), Casey Maloney (#2) or Dani Hartnett (#5) it’s a difficult crew to penetrate. Fronted by a pair of holding midfielders, a trio of sophomores share the responsibility – Molly Ream (#10), Alex Schmitz (#13) and Katie Heiligstein (#6). For those keeping track at home, that’s 7 sophomores, including GK Megan Swanson, and senior Hartnett. They’ve given up one goal, in a 3-1 win at Howell North in their season opener, and nothing since.
I mentioned the modified 4-4-2 that St Joseph was lined up in. Senior Michelle Schwarz (#10) played the majority of the match as a man-marker as the Angel’s chose to put her on junior Cristina Rodriguez (#14). It was an interesting tactic but somewhat negated by the breadth of choices the Crusader’s have. Rodriguez roams widely, opening space for her teammates who are more than happy to take advantage of the opportunities presented. St Dominic’s is loaded with pace and in addition to the goal-scorer Roth, they turn to Emily Monroe and McKenzie Reif to spread defenses from the front runner position. Junior Kristin Wollf (#7) is also a target player with her runs from the wide midfield position.
Overall a young team blessed with pace, skill and no lack of attitude as they appear to be on a mission to show that they are not just the best small-school team in the region but the best team overall. I’d suggest you find an opportunity to decide for yourself.
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