Coming off a scoreless draw against Jesuit, Grace King was looking to make a statement against District 6-I foe Brother Martin on Saturday.
The Irish did just that.
Grace King scored a pair of first-half goals off rebounds and added another late to secure a 3-0 home win Saturday.
“We felt very confident coming into the game that we could get a couple of goals early,” Grace King coach Raul Hernandez said. “We’ve been practicing (scoring off rebounds) the past week, so we knew we could get some good plays off of it. Now, we just have to keep up the momentum. We just want to keep competing and getting good results.”
Brother Martin generated several chances in the opening 10 minutes despite both teams struggling with the wet, muddy field. But it was a pair of Crusaders mistakes that opened the scoring as in the 28th minute, Bajazit Muminovic scored the opening goal on a rebound for a 1-0 lead.
Brother Martin nearly answered six minutes later when Miles Francis’ header narrowly missed, but the Irish (13-5-1, 7-1-1) extended their lead on Wilmer Toro’s rebound shot in the 36th minute for a 2-0 halftime lead.
“The past week, we’re been working on winning balls in the air and flicking them to players,” Toro said. “It’s been working for us. It feels good. This was a good win. Every week we’re getting better and better. We’ve had hard practices, and the team is getting closer. Everything is good right now.”
Brother Martin (11-3-2, 8-2) tried to rally in the second half and generated several chances, but each time, the attempt sailed wide or Grace King keeper Milton Rodriquez was up to the task.
The chances started in the 43rd minute when Francis’ free kick sailed just over the crossbar, but the Crusaders’ best chance came in the 58th minute when Rodriquez saved a hard, low shot by Francis in the box.
Grace King added its final goal in the 68th minute when Almedin Tursunovic’s header off a well-placed corner kick found the back of the net.
Brother Martin coach Stephen McAnespie said his team needs to learn from its mistakes and focus on putting together a full 80 minutes of effort.
“In the first half, they get two easy goals from long balls in the box that we should have dealt with better,” McAnespie said. “It’s two real mistakes on our part that let them get ahead. It changes the complexion of the result, but not the way the game played out.
“Our guys have got to learn from those mistakes and keep getting better.”