Carroll soccer edges Trinity
On Wednesday evening at Trinity Academy’s soccer complex, Maria Walden scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory to preserve Bishop Carroll’s undefeated season on what will surely remain her most ambitious goal of her career.
Yet, the Carroll junior midfielder could not tell you how it happened.
“I think I kind of got lucky,” Walden said. “I just made a couple of cuts and kept going. I don’t really remember.”
While she may have been lost in a zone, Walden’s teammates were front-row spectators more than eager to explain.
“She literally weed-whacked through everybody and scored,” Vaughn said. “It was perfect.”
Walden won a ball 30 yards from goal, juked the first defender, then another, then split another two defenders on an ambitious touch that turned prosperous when she beat a charging goalkeeper to the ball and toe-poked it into the back of the net.
One on five, and Walden had prevailed.
“She was determined she was going to score, dropped her head, and just went,” Carroll coach Greg Rauch said. “She can be very stubborn at times, but I guess it was a good thing there.”
The goal, coming five minutes into the second half, proved to be the difference in a game between two championship contenders in Carroll, 8-0 and ranked second in Class 5A, and Trinity, 5-2-1 and ranked first in 4-1A.
“It was definitely an exciting game,” Trinity coach Tom Nykamp said. “I think we possessed well and defended pretty well, it was just that second goal that broke us. We probably shouldn’t have given that one up.”
Trinity became the first team to score on Carroll this season in the 19th minute when Grace Linton made a run in the box and deflected it off the keeper, leaving an open net for teammate Taylor Billings to capitalize on for the 1-0 lead.
Instead of shaking Carroll’s defense, it solidified it, starting with Vaughn, the team’s senior sweeper.
“When I get angry, I get almost too aggressive,” Vaughn said. “It made me want to get to every ball and knock everything down and prove they didn’t deserve that goal.”
The equalizer came 10 minutes before halftime. Shelby Lopez kept a ball alive just outside the box, giving Erin Akin the opportunity to sneak a 20-yard shot inches beneath the crossbar to tie the score.
For the first adversity of the season, Rauch was impressed with his squad.
“We knew that this was going to be the next level and Trinity was,” Rauch said. “The girls faced adversity well and kept fighting. I certainly hope they understand the quality of opponent we just faced. I’m very, very happy with where we’re at.”
First half—Trinity, Billings (unassisted); Carroll, Akin (Lopez). Second half—Carroll, Walden (unassisted). Shots—Carroll 6-5—11; Trinity 3-4—7. Saves—Carroll, Reichenberger 1-1—2; Trinity, Hoch 2-2—4.