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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Gators Grab Spot in MMAA Final

Both the Mount St. Mary’s Thunder and the Nardin Gators came into Saturday with one goal in mind, to make it to the Monsignor Martin Girls Soccer Championship game. After a long, hard fought game by both sides, it was Nardin coming out on top 1-0, earning a spot in the title game.

The Gators’ offense pressured Mount St. Mary for almost the entire first 12 minutes of the game. Despite the offensive pressure the Thunder defense stood tall allowing very few shots on net.

Senior midfielder McKenna O’Rourke, who also serves as team captain, led the defensive stand for the Mount in front of the net, even diving to block shots.

Just three minutes into the second half, the Gator offense finally broke through as senior Sydney Scello found the back of the net for the game’s only goal.

“Sydney’s been doing a great job, her timing on the runs was faster than the defender. She got through four times, just didn’t connect in the first half. In the second half she got through and connected,” said Nardin Head Coach Frank Cotroneo.

However, the Thunder did not give up. The defense quickly had to change their game from stopping the Gator offense to producing some offense of their own.

Leah Giles worked hard along the right side to create scoring chances for the Mount and despite giving up one goal, goalkeeper Megan Preisch made a couple big saves to keep her team in the game.

The defense then stepped for Nardin, stopping scoring chances and blocking shots. Nardin also kept possession in the second, winning all of the 50/50 air balls.

The Mount offense led by Giles finally got going in the final few minutes of the game but it was too little too late as the Gators held on for the one goal victory.

“The girls did a great job. I want them to think several steps ahead and they are doing that,” said Cotroneo. “We haven’t in the past had as good of an offense as we do this year.”

Mount St. Mary’s Head Coach Marissa Dauria was extremely proud of her team and especially her seniors after the game. “It was great effort by our girls. They did everything I asked them to do. I’m proud of them,” said Dauria. “The seniors have come a long way going from freshman year with a 2-8 season to this year being 12-5-2.”

Even though they didn’t score until the second half, Scello could feel the Gators were going to come out on top, saying “It definitely was the day for Nardin. We had a lot of chances in the first half and I knew we would convert in the second.”

With the win, Nardin earns a spot in Sunday’s Monsignor Martin Girls Soccer Championship game. The Gators will take on the Nichols Vikings who defeated Sacred Heart 3-2 in double overtime.

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