Saints roll through Flashes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reigning All-County softball player of the year Sarah Franco is spending her off-season minding the net for the St. Aloysius girls soccer team. Friday night she had her toughest assignment, trying to slow down the defending Class 1-3A state champions from St. Andrew’s.

Franco made 13 saves, but couldn’t stop two hard shots by the Lady Saints’ Megan Rock and a pair of rainbow shots from Olivia Long and Samantha Green as St. Andrew’s won 4-0 at Balzli Field in a divisional match.

“I thought I could get in better shape for softball, so I decided to give it a shot,” Franco said. “Coach Vollor said he needed a goal-keeper. I’m still learning.”

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Rock gave her some lessons by powering in a low liner 17 minutes into the game. Franco kept the Lady Flashes (4-6-1, 0-2) afloat with nine first-half saves. The defense helped out as coach Keiko Booth aligned seven St. Al players in the back. Marie Booth and Madison Lumbley played near the box to give Franco some cover.

“We lagged some players back because we know how good a competitor St. Andrew’s is,” Booth said.

“They are one of the two best teams in all of 1-3A,” St. Al coach Will Vollor said of the Lady Saints. “We just happen to have them and Madison St. Joe in our division.”

St. Andrew’s (8-3-2, 2-0) came out and played like defending champs in the second half, scoring three goals in the game’s final 12 minutes. Rock got her second at the 68:31 mark. Long and Green scored in the 73rd and 76th minute.

St. Al’s only shot to score came eight minutes into the second half when Riley Griffith rocked a 40-yard shot that just missed high.

(B) S. Andrew’s 8, St. Al 2

The Flashes lost by six goals but Vollor thought his team played inspired.

“This was our best game this year. We got an early goal and it just seemed to excite us and we played hard for the entire way. I honestly thought, this was a 2-1 game. They slipped some in on us, but we played well,” Vollor said.

St. Andrew’s, a favorite to reach the Class 1A-3A finals next month, was too good. The Saints (8-1) got three goals in the first 10 minutes to answer St. Al’s goal from Adam Thornton. Timmy Harper, Gerald Myers and Daniel Duddleston scored for the Saints.

Down 4-1, Steven Mazzanti nearly cut it to 4-2 but missed high on a 40-yard kick. The Flashes controlled much of the early action in the second half and Thornton just missed a 50-yard shot. St. Andrew’s, though, answered with goals from Harper and Luke Hart to go up 6-1.

Mazzanti scored the Flashes’ last goal at the 23:07 mark on an assist by Richard Thomas.

Myers and Hart tacked on a pair of goals in the last six minutes for the Saints.


Contact Jeff Byrd