By Dante Quazzo
On a cold and windy afternoon at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields, Urban School and Convent of the Sacred Heart High School battled to what looked to be a stalemate in the first half, but as the period was closing, Urban’s Jenna Waldman broke through to unknot the tie.
In a game where both sides displayed well defensively, the the Blues outlasted the Cubs in a 2-0 win in Bay Counties League West play on Friday to remain undefeated.
The Convent (1-5-1, 0-3-1) defense had bent but not broken in the first half, repelling the Blues (7-0-1, 3-0-0) advances to keep the game scoreless.
Urban controlled possession for the majority of the game, and eventually broke through the Cubs defensive exterior.
In the 36th minute, Urban freshman Mariah Harvey-Brown broke free along the sideline deep in Convent territory. Convent goalkeeper Caroline Welsh closed in on the ball, but Harvey-Brown dished to Waldman, who put the Blues up 1-0.
“[Harvey-Brown] dribbled down the line and did a perfect back-and-away pass just like we’ve been practicing. I just tapped it in,” Waldman said. “It was a really good team effort.”
In addition to her goal, Waldman ignited Urban’s offensive game, often outmaneuvering Convent defenders.
“My favorite aspect of the game is footwork and so I’ve worked all the time to improve it,” Waldman said.
Waldman continually attacked Convent defenders, creating chances for herself and her teammates.
“She’s really learned that spot,” said Urban head coach Anthony Reyes. “She plays it like a power forward; she posts people up.”
After the intermission, the Blues tacked on another goal. This time it was freshman Ricki Blakesberg in the 56th minute, again assisted by Harvey-Brown. Blakesberg was along penalty area and sent a strong shot from 30 yards out into the corner of the net.
Despite the two goals allowed, Welsh collected an impressive 14 saves on the day. After contributing to Convent’s successful season on the basketball court, Welsh has been solid in goal for the Cubs.
“She had a great game, and she’s been consistent since she started playing,” said Convent head coach Elena DeSantis.
The Cubs had a few chances to score, but weren’t able to capitalize on the offensive end.
In the sixth minute, consecutive Urban fouls gave the Cubs a free kick from 10 yards outside the penalty area, but a consistent Urban defense prevented the Cubs from further chances.
“We’ve given up three goals in seven games now, so we feel pretty good about our defense,” said Urban head coach Antony Reyes. “We’re doing pretty well on defense and we’re happy about that.”
With their third consecutive league win, the Blues are hitting their stride. They will face off against University on Wednesday in a matchup of the BCL West’s top teams. Convent will look to rebound against Drew on Wednesday.