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Magic Gears up for Final Two Weeks of Regular Season

by cnewman

It's crunch time for the Mount Mercy Academy soccer team. With only two weeks left in the regular season, the Magic are fighting for their playoffs lives.

With the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association only going to four teams making the playoffs this season, every game is taking on that much more importance.

As of press time, the Magic stood in third place - behind Nichols School, Sacred Heart Academy and just ahead of Nardin and Mt. St. Mary Academy.

"We need to win our last three games," stated Mt. mercy coach John Glose. "We have been talking about playing our best soccer late in the year and hopefully we can put some wins together and we can peak at the right time for the playoffs."

There is no secret these teams don't want to finish fourth in the standings and draw Nichols in the semifinals.

Nichols is the best team in the MMAA and schools, like Mt. Mercy, would rather try and get them in the finals.

The Magic played them tough the first time only losing 1-0. Second time out, they were missing some key players due to SAT's and fell 5-1.

With all the being said, Glose said he isn't trying to put pressure on the girls to perform, but to just go out there and play there game.

If they do that, they could finished second or third and maybe draw Sacred Heart - a team they lost to and tied.

"I want them to take everyone (game) very seriously," explained Glose. "We are not good enough to take any team lightly. We have to make sure we stay focused for everybody."

The success of the Magic could depend on the health of the team.

Mt. Mercy has a mash unit these days - with girls missing time with sprained ankles or a bunch of them getting taped up.

Their best defender Madeline Parisi has a sprained ankle she suffered recently that could cost her some time.

However, because the team is so deep it just gives other players a chance to step up and make a contribution.

"It's tough. A lot of young players have to step up," said Glose. "Everyone is getting a lot of playing time, which is a good thing. Obviously, we would like to have everyone a 100 percent for the playoffs and we are getting there. We still have a few injuries."

As for the game: After a slow first half, the Magic scored five times in the second to defeat visiting Immaculata, 5-0.

Jackie Kane (2), Rebecca Alvira, Madelyn Higgins and Megan Sheehan all scored for the Magic. Kaitlynn Skipper earned the shutout. Leah Rennie and Haley O'Donnell had strong games as well.

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