by Tom Utescher
In her final game against Catholic Academies rival Gwynedd Mercy, Mount St. Joseph senior midfielder Kelly Moran scored a goal in regulation play and another early in overtime to spur the Magic to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Monarchs last Thursday afternoon.
Both markers originated with sideline throw-in’s by junior Lisa Roman. In the first period, the Magic’s opening goal was almost immediately matched by Gwynedd junior Taylor Caparo. Later, Moran’s overtime game-winner lifted the Mount to a record of 5-3 in the AACA, and 6-6-1 overall.
GMA, which won a 2-1 home match over the Magic back on September 13, was 4-1-2 and 5-2-2 following Thursday’s setback. The Monarchs have not yet faced league leader Villa Joseph Marie.
After sputtering to a 1-6-1 record over the first month of the season, the Magic chalked up their fifth win in a row in the rematch with Gwynedd.
“I think we played some tough games at the beginning and we had a new coach [Catherine Kulp],” said Moran, who will point her hooves towards West Virginia next fall to join the Thundering Herd at Marshall University. “We had a couple of scrimmages that were rained out, so it took awhile to get everything working together.”
The Mounties attacked from the outset last Thursday, keeping up the pressure until they scored with 18:53 remaining in the opening period. Roman’s inbounds throw from the left sideline found Moran at the near post, and she flicked the ball into the net.
“We’ve been working together on that for three years and it comes together every once in awhile,” Moran said. “Lisa can throw it really far and I just try to get anything on it that I can.”
The fruits of the Mount’s labors vanished less than a minute later. Gwynedd launched an assault as soon as play resumed, and the small, speedy Caparo broke into the right side of the box. Getting good leather on the ball, she fired a high shot that brushed back the fingers of MSJ senior goalie Becca McCool and continued into the cage. McCool, making her fourth start after missing a few games due to an ankle injury, kept the goal sealed the rest of the way and recorded five saves.
“It’s hard when you get ahead and they come right back and score,” Moran mused. “It’s kind of like you have to start all over again.”
The Magic recaptured the offensive initiative, and had chances to go ahead late in the half as Gwynedd let a few balls bounce loose in the box. The hosts had no one in position to finish those plays, and it was still 1-1 at halftime.
At the break Gwynedd switched goalkeepers, replacing starter Ally Fasano (six saves) with fellow junior Courtney Sullivan (10 saves). Neither the new GMA keeper nor the Mount’s McCool gave anything up during the second half. The Magic continued to spend more time on offense than their guests, building towards a 19-7 advantage in shots during the 80 minutes of regulation play.
With the teams still deadlocked at 1-1, a ten-minute “golden goal” overtime period got underway, but it didn’t last long thanks to the Magic’s anagram girls, Moran and Roman. Mount St. Joe advanced down the left flank and when the ball went out over the sideline off of a Monarchs player, Roman wound up for a Mount throw-in, aiming for her senior teammate in the near side of the penalty box.
Describing the gamewinning play, Moran said “I think the ball hit off my head, then it hit a Gwynedd girl and bounced back to me, so I shot it and it went in.”