O'Neil, Shea Power Magic over Mount St. Mary Academyby cnewman
half goals by Madeline O'Neil and Jacqueline Shea helped Mount Mercy
Academy overcome a sluggish start as they defeated Mt. St. Mary Academy,
2-0, on a blustery and raining afternoon in Kenmore.
The win improves Mount Mercy to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association.
"In the first half they (Mt. St. Mary) had the wind with them and that was really a big thing," stated Mt. Mercy coach John Glose. "It seemed we had a little bit more energy in the second half and we were able to take it to them more."
The first 40 minutes of soccer between these two clubs wasn't a pretty thing to watch. The Thunder tried to use the long ball and kept sending their players down the wings in the hope of breaking that vaunted Mount Mercy defense.
On the other end, the Magic weren't playing there game as they just got bottled up in the midfield instead of making quick passes and using their speed.
"It was rainy and windy for most of the game, but it was a huge win for us," said Glose.
In the second half, however, the Magic were able to play under control and it showed as the forwards used their speed to create chances.
The Magic finally got on the board midway through the second half off a corner kick. The ball was sent in high and junior forward Haley Kempf went crashing into the MSM keeper, which allowed O'Neil too pick up the loose ball and stuff it in the back of the net.
The Magic would put the game away a few minutes later as Shea collected the rebound off a scramble in front and stuffed the ball in the net. The play was started thanks to a great play by freshman Kristen Kline, who won the 50/50 ball in front of the MSM net.
"We were aggressive and trying to crash the goal," Glose said. "Two sophomores stepped up for us and we continue to need girls stepping up for us."
From there is was all defense as the Magic took away MSM's best player in the midfield. The defense was anchored by the strong play of senior Marissa Stack and junior sweeper Meghan Edwards.
Edwards had a great game as she was the last line of defense and used her poise to make the right play at the right time. She even sent a couple of nice through balls up to the midfielders to get the Magic offense going.
"Meghan Edwards has awesome speed and she supports all of our defenders," explained Glose. "She did a great job. She cleared the ball out of there and made some great passes out to our midfielders."
Mount Mercy, winners of two in a row and three of its last four, will take its undefeated conference record into a showdown with a tough Sacred Heart team at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The game will be played at Rotary Field in Amherst.
"Our league schedule gets tougher and tougher," said Glose. "The next few games are against the top tier in our league and it is really going to show what we have."