It took 62 minutes for St. Scholastica’s soccer team to break loose against Mount Carmel.
But when the Doves did find their offensive rhythm, they did so in a decisive way.
St. Scholastica tallied first when Allie Edwards crossed a ball through the Mt. Carmel box — a pass that found Sami Vercher streaking up the right side. Vercher put the ball into the top right corner on a shot that opened a cavalcade of offense for the Doves.
SSA eventually won, 3-0, in a nondistrict match Saturday morning at the SSA athletic complex near Covington.
Edwards ran an identical play in the 66th minute, but that time, her ball found the bottom right corner without the benefit of a teammate’s assistance.
Then, Maggie Otillio scored in the 75th minute to give the Doves their final goal.
SSA (8-1-2) outshot Mt. Carmel 13-5 in the match. The shot-differential was 9-1 in the decisive second half.
Mt. Carmel fell to 8-2-2.
“We are known for winning championships, but today, we really needed a big win going into district,” Edwards said. “We couldn’t look past this game. That’s a good team. When we found our rhythm, we felt OK.”
St. Scholastica coach Mike Ortner said his team took some time to find its balance against the Cubs. After both teams shot four times in the first half, he was anticipating an offensive breakout after halftime.
“We just weren’t executing,” Ortner said. “Once we set up and go a better feel for what was going on, the game set up well for us.”
Mt. Carmel coach Pavlos Petrou said his team had its chances in the first half, and still did after SSA scored its first goal. But when they couldn’t find the net late in the match, the Cubs got into disarray.
“We were a step slow today,” Petrou said. “We weren’t challenging the ball the way we should have been.”
Mt. Carmel had the first shot on goal — a ball that Kristen Nuss fired toward the net in the fourth minute. SSA squeezed off an attempt in the 24th minute when a shot by Otillio sailed high of the net from point-blank range. The Doves strung together three consecutive shots late in the first half, but none found their mark. An MCA penalty kick in the 39th minute also soared over the crossbar to keep the match scoreless going into halftime.