A pair of long-range goals helped ensure latest installment of the crosstown rivalry between the girls soccer teams from St. Joseph and Trumbull ended in a 1-1 draw at windy McDougall Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The result was a step in the right direction for the Eagles, who’ve seen the rivalry play out to the Cadets’ advantage in recent seasons.
“It’s a big step up for us,” Trumbull senior Brady Lynch said.” The last few years, you know, we haven’t had a shot against St. Joe’s. Nobody believes in Trumbull when the two teams play against each other. This kind of puts us back on the map.”
Lynch’s fifth-minute free-kick did just that.
After a St. Joseph foul, Lynch lined up from about 30 yards out on the wide left side of the field and hit a ball that kept sailing toward the far post. When it finally landed, the ball had floated all the way into the upper corner of the right post.
“Honestly I think that it was in my range,” Lynch said. “We practice them a lot. My range is pretty far I out. I was mostly looking back post because if it doesn’t go in, then at least my teammates will be there.”
St. Joseph leveled it at 1-1 with 10 minutes to go in the first half thanks to Maia Moscova. The Cadets’ senior found space from 25-plus yards out and lashed a powerful shot into the top right corner.
Two minutes later St. Joseph almost took the lead on a free kick taken by Jessica Mazo, but Eagles’ keeper Maryna Barone saved it.
The draw ended the Cadets nine-game winning streak to open the 2017 season. The defending Class L champs saw their record move to 9-0-1 after Saturday’s result.
“We didn’t really capitalize on any situations we had,” St. Joseph coach Jack Nogueira said. “It’s a good goal by (Moscova), but it was her by herself creating something with her own shot.
"We didn’t play to feet. We didn’t move the ball well.”
Trumbull, which improved to 6-1-3, came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half.
Daniella Milovanov’s shot from outside the box forced St. Joseph keeper Veronica O’Rourke to make a low save. The senior pounced to smother the long rebound before anyone on Trumbull could get a foot to it.
O’Rourke made a pair of close-range saves to twice deny Meghan Lesko’s bid for a Trumbull game-winner in the closing minutes.
St. Joseph’s best chance to score came midway through the second half, but Trumbull defender Jessica Esposito tracked back and made a clearance in front of an open goal.
“I’m proud of the girls tonight,” Trumbull coach Daniel Uhrlass said. “They worked hard and matched St. Joe’s toughness.”