Despite Newman’s girls soccer team scoring its first goal within the first two minutes, Sacred Heart prevailed 2-1 Wednesday at Pan-American Stadium.
Frances Sperling scored Newman’s (10-4-3) goal at the 38:45 mark, Sacred Heart (9-3-3) then tied it at the 22:17 when Mallory Rodriguez scored.
With less than two minutes in the half, Rodriguez then kicked in a short goal for a 2-1 lead at halftime.
“It was rewarding after they scored in the first 10 minutes,” Rodriguez said. “We knew we needed to score. Me and Sarah Dawson work well together, and she kind of saw me open. I shot and scored.”
For Sacred Heart coach Tooraj Badie, the first goal involved a high-quality shot.
“The timing of that goal was perfect,” he said. “You had to be a very good quality shot for us to score on it. She put it away from her to the corner. The timing of it was great. We got back right in it. We started to put a few passes together. They’re a great team.”
Newman had several chances to score at the end of the game as the Greenies had three corner kicks and a free kick all within the last seven minutes of the game.
“As a group, we defended really well,” Badie said. “You have to go through some tough times.”
Newman coach Lynsey Winkler said the first goal aided her team’s momentum.
“That’s what we wanted to do,” she said. “We wanted to come out strong and set the tone of the game, and I thought we did a good job the first half. Then, I don’t know, we let up. You can’t let up against Sacred Heart. They’re a good team. They’re coached well.”
Winkler said her team was unable to capitalize on its scoring chances late in the game, however; that serves as a good lesson for the postseason.
“We had a lot of good chances, and we’ve got to finish those,” she said. “You’re only going to get a few good chances against good teams like this,” she said. “We’ve got to learn to capitalize.”
The games between the Greenies and Cardinals are usually close, Badie said.
“This rivalry always comes down to one goal or a tie. It’s always this close,” he said. “No matter who’s ranked what, and where we are in our season. It’s always going to be a close game.