Girls' Soccer Advances in Postseason
The Saint Joseph Prep Girls' Soccer team will play in the D4 North quarterfinals of the MIAA State Tournament on Wednesday, November 6, at 2:00PM, against Innovation Academy in Tyngsboro as a result of winning their first round game last night in regulation time.
SJP defeated CCL rivals Lowell Catholic in an arduous battle on Monday night, November 4. Playing under the lights and on the turf of McCarthy Middle School in Chelmsford, Lady Phoenix rectified the 0-0 tie and the narrow 2-1 loss against LC in the regular season, as well as finally overcame an historic losing streak against this CCL powerhouse. About 26 minutes into the first half, Katelyn Botte '21 scored on a breakaway served by Sophia Belarmino '21 that led to a one-on-one challenge with the LC goalie. Barely a minute later, Katelyn scored again, similarly, only this time served by Saidah DaSilva '22. For the remainder of the game, SJP's strong defense held firm to close as many chances as LC could create. With nine minutes left in the game, a hand ball call in the box offered LC their lone PK goal. While SJP created many chances themselves throughout, at the final whistle, the score was 2-1, and enough for Saint Joseph Prep to claim victory and advance to the next stage.
The girls have had more close games with tougher opponents this year than in previous years. According to their coach, "they've finally found the connectivity they were missing last year. There's been a lot more constructive opportunity in our attack, and we have a very reliable defense." This was most evident in a comeback win in the second half of their season. Having lost at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in a shutout first game of the season, there were low expectations heading into the home game on October 17. As MVRC scored two goals within the first ten minutes, it seemed like another loss may have been inevitable. A late goal in the first half by Katelyn from an Ellie Cotton '20 cross gave the team hope, and momentum heading into the second half. Katelyn and Ellie connected two more times to complete the hat trick in unanswered goals with about ten minutes remaining. Thanks to the impenetrable support of SJP's solid defense, they held them, and won in a way that overcame the shroud imposed by a team that had also knocked SJP out of the tournament last year.
In other fall sports, the Golf team finished with a 3-13 record and sent Scott Sigmund '21 to the league championships. Scott shot a 83 and came in 15th overall. His performance throughout the season earned him a spot among the CCL Allstars.
For the Cross Country team, the girls put up a record of 1-5, while the boys finished 2-4. Sophomore McKenna Wech once again led the way for SJP, improving her times over last season and placing first at four meets. McKenna fought her way through a late-season injury to run third at the CCL Championships, where she posted a personal best, while Jack Cicconi '22 and Aidan Wech '20 both finished in the top 30 on the boys side.
Despite a challenging schedule and some tough losses, the three-team Volleyball program is looking ahead to a stronger future. JV B perfected their overhand serves while JV A practiced their on-court communication skills. The Varsity squad is sad to say goodbye to eight seniors, many of whom have been with the team for four years.
There will be more information, including highlights of the Boys' Soccer team with a fall sports banquet story to come.