Saints vex Cardinal girls soccer in nail-biter; Fairmont Area boys earn tie
FAIRMONT — Striker Emma Jones and midfielder Maddie More comprise a lethal 1-2 offensive punch for St. Peter’s soccer program.
The Saints’ synchronized senior scorers equally accounted for both of the visitors’ goals and assists to vex the hometown Fairmont Area Cardinals, 2-1, during a Big South Conference showdown Friday night at Jeffery Kot Soccer Complex.
“That was a heckuva game,” said Fairmont Area head coach Matt Nielsen. “We had two minor lapses in the game, and St. Peter capitalized on both of them.
“(Fairmont Area goalkeeper) Cadee (Becker) did a great job of stopping their (the Saints) early penalty kick in the first half, but we didn’t cover the live ball after the save and (Jones) put home the rebound.”
More drove toward the right pipe on the penalty kick only to have Becker anticipate her approach angle correctly en route to the diving bat-away. Jones, however, alertly corraled the carom and drilled a right-to-left sizzler into the twine at the 35:42 juncture of the first half.
Fairmont Area displayed its mettle by countering with the equalizer off a textbook lead pass-turned-breakaway scoring chance at the 30:23 juncture before intermission.
Midfielder Mackenzie Householder threaded the soccer ball through traffic to freshman forward Elayna Anderson. Anderson outraced St. Peter’s back defender and tactically angled toward the right post on the drive and kicked her right-to-left shot past Saints’ netminder Katie Gurrola to knot the game at 1-all.
“I haven’t seen a better 35-yard lead pass like the one House made tonight,” Nielsen said in reference to Householder’s accurate long-distance assist.
Becker and sweeper Carissa Saxton then delivered a pair of defensive gems to deny Jones two more offensive chances during the final 10 minutes of the opening half.
Becker timed her grass-hugging block on Jones’ break opportunity at the 9:45 mark before Saxton’s closing speed allowed her to poke-check the soccer ball out of harm’s way inside the box with 4 minutes remaining before halftime.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, forward Rayah Quiring was denied scoring the go-ahead goal midway through the second half.
“It truly is a game of inches as Rayah just caught the pipe on a pair of great looks on goal,” said Nielsen. “Those are the breaks sometimes.”
The Mercurial Quiring weaved end-to-end on a deft-footed drive down the middle before her right-wing blast glanced off the left post near the 20-minute juncture.
Quiring then planted and lined an 18-yarder from the point that ricocheted off the top right pipe with 11 1/2 minutes showing on the scoreboard.
Jones then traded roles with More in the latter stages of the second half by lofting a perfect long-distance pass to More for a breakaway chance. More angled wide to force Becker to commit before cutting her shot inside the far post for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal with 7:06 remaining.
Sami Lenort’s near-perfect lofted free kick to the box almost produced the equalizer for the Cardinals with 1:30 left in regulation. Lenort curled the left-wing pass toward Quiring, who outjumped the defensive scrum and headed the ball off the crossbar before Gurrola covered for the most vital of her three saves.
Becker finished with a game-best nine stops for the Cardinals.
Fairmont Area (1-2) travels to St. Peter (3-0) on Tuesday for a 6:45 p.m. second half of the two teams’ back-to-back, home-and-away seasonal series.
St. Peter 1-1–2
STP — Emma Jones (Maddie More), 35:42.
FA — Elayna Anderson (Mackenzie Householder), 30:23.
STP — Maddie More (Emma Jones), 7:06.
Shots on goal: St. Peter 5-6–11; Fairmont Area 2-2–4. Corners: Fairmont Area 1; St. Peter 1.
Saves: Cadence Becker (FA) 9; Katie Gurrola (STP) 3.
Mackenzie Carlson and Brylee Miller each produced goals to help Fairmont Area earn a 2-2 tie with St. Peter during junior varsity action Friday night at Jeffery Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont.
Karissa Newville distributed an assist for the hometown Cardinals, while goalkeeper Kalie Hanna recorded seven saves between the pipes.
Fairmont Area 1, St. Peter 1 (tie) — Forward Joshua Bergt netted the Cardinals’ first-half goal, while netminder Bryant Armitage produced a game-best 10 saves to help Fairmont Area salvage a tie with the Saints on Friday night in St. Peter.
Armitage and the Cardinals’ defense stymied the Saints’ 8-0 advantage in corner kicks and held St. Peter to one goal despite the home team posting an 11-5 edge in shots on goal.
Isaiah Lebbi and Bergt each recorded two shots on goal for Fairmont Area (0-2-1), which plays host to St. Peter in the second of back-to-back contests at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Jeffery Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont.