The Springfield Catholic Lady Irish soccer team defeated Carl Junction 5-1 at Catholic Friday evening to open their season. On a warm and windy afternoon, the Lady Irish enjoyed a rare chance to be outdoors as the weather has not been friendly during spring practice.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
“You never know what to expect with the first game of the season, especially in a year like this when I think we’ve been outside for four days," said Catholic Coach Ben Timson. "Of the 14 practices we’ve had, I think we’ve had 10 in the gym because of the weather.” Timson added, “Early on, we were just all running like crazy. We were really struggling with our shape. Everyone was just kind of going to the ball and we ran ourselves into exhaustion.”
Catholic junior midfielder Lydia Holtmann was causing a lot of problems for the Carl junction defense. She had a monster game as she scored four goals and assisted on the other one.
The first score of the game came in the 9th minute as senior forward Michelle Garrison scored the season’s first goal for Catholic with the assist from Holtmann.
Holtman added a goal in the 21st minute on an assist from junior Courtney Ukena. Holtmann then stunned the Lady Bulldogs with a free kick from 30 yards out that she managed to bend in, despite having the wind at her back. That gave the Lady Irish a 3-0 lead in the 30th minute and the score would stay the same for nearly 40 minutes.
Holtmann scored another goal on a free kick from 15 yards out in the 69th minute and just 98 seconds later she found the net again off an assist by junior Allie Banasik.
Lady Irish junior goalkeeper Mary Wichmer had 10 saves in her first game in goal and had a shutout until a defensive miscue by the Lady Irish created an opportunity in the middle and Lady Bulldogs’ junior midfielder Taylor Beck scored with 22 seconds left in the match.
Carl Junction actually outshot Catholic 11-8 but the Lady Irish were deadly when they got opportunities.
Springfield Catholic is coming off a 20-7 season that saw them fall just short of a third straight state championship in Class 1. They finished third in state.
Carl Junction finished last season 16-6 as they advanced to the Class 2 District 12 semifinals before falling to Republic 2-1.
Carl Junction claimed the Junior Varsity contest with a 4-0 win over the Catholic JV’s.
Next action for the Lady Irish will be a road game at Camdenton next Tuesday.