MCS girls top Wildcats for division crown
By John Bernhardt
The Margaretville Blue Devil girls’ soccer team was on a mission. A Saturday date in the Delaware League Championship game against Downsville had already been secured. Even so, the Blue Devils had something to prove.
Margaretville was determined to put to rest any notion they had backed into Saturday’s championship game. The Blue Devils caught and passed Davenport when the Wildcats lost three of four contests with the league’s top scorer, Sarah Haight, injured on the sidelines. Haight was back, and the Blue Devils were glad she’d returned. In a strange sort of way, Monday’s game had the look and feel of a one-game championship, a title Margaretville would win, 4-2.
Svoboda steps up
Going into Monday’s contest everyone knew Haight was a star. Nothing that happened would change that. Coming out of the game a new star shared the soccer stage. Blue Devil senior striker Tess Svoboda left the field with a four-goal shine.
Svoboda struck first driving at the goal from the left side and striking a hard shot along the ground into the right-hand side panel of the net. Haight answered with breathtaking speed nine seconds later. The Wildcat star lifted an incredible shot from 35 yards or more that floated high and soft, tucking just underneath the crossbar for a score.
Next up, Svoboda. The Blue Devil striker’s second score was an unstoppable shot, a long strike from the left wing that lifted over the goalie’s outstretched arms into the right hand corner of the nets.
Haight was undeterred. The speedy Wildcat took advantage of a failed Margaretville defensive clear gaining control of the ball and knifing between two Blue Devils defenders before grounding a hard strike well beyond the goalie’s reach, knotting the score at 2-2 just 53 seconds before the half.
Svoboda found an accomplice in the second half. Outstanding play by junior Cecilia Galatioto on the right forward line was a difference maker. Approaching the right corner with just under 28 minutes left in the game, Galatioto sidestepped a Wildcat defender and fired a shot on goal. The ball slithered out of the grasp of the Davenport goalie with Svoboda flashing forward from the left wing to tap it home.
Three minutes later, Galatioto pushed a through ball along the ground from just inside the midfield line that Svoboda ran down then used a left-footed strike to drive a shot across the goal face into the nets for her fourth score of the day.
Some Margaretville heroes surfaced on the opposite side of the field. Alexis Molnar was fierce in the goal for the Blue Devils, stopping several promising Davenport advances. Molnar’s full extension dive tipped one Wildcat shot wide of the right pole.
With Molar on the ground, a Wildcat striker banged a shot in the direction of the untended nets but Rachel Mathiesen cleared the ball away.
Later in the half, Molnar charged from the nets to stop an incoming Davenport charge. Wildcat striker, Margaretville defender, and Molnar all went down in a pile, the ball bouncing past the fallen trio toward a wide-open Davenport goal. Enter Kate Short, flying from the opposite wing to clear the ball before it crossed the goal line for a score.
As for Svoboda, her four-goal outburst came on the heels of a three-goal effort in Margaretville’s 4-0 Friday win over Delhi. Cora Bruno scored the fourth goal.
Margaretville ends the regular season at 11-3-1.