By Dante Quazzo
At the end of the first half, it looked like the St. Ignatius and St. Francis girls soccer teams would be locked in a stalemate, when one quick play told the game’s entire story.
In the 32nd minute, St. Francis goalkeeper Jacqueline Caginia booted a kick downfield to teammate Caroline Olivero, who dribbled through Wildcats defenders and kicked a ball past St. Ignatius goalkeeper Shannon Foster to score the first goal of a 2-0 West Catholic Athletic League win on Saturday at SI.
“[Caginia] had a great punt, and [Olivero] read the bounce well,” said St. Francis head coach Dawn Hill. “She used her body a little and finished a great ball.”
The wind played a big factor in the game and while St. Ignatius (3-6-3, 0-3-2) managed few opportunities and only two shots on goal in the first half, it adjusted and managed six shots on net in the second, with many more opportunities.
“Today was about the wind,” said St. Ignatius head coach Carlos Escobar. “They had the wind in the first half and most of the play, and I think in the second half, it helped us in the same way.”
Unfortunately for St. Ignatius, it couldn’t capitalize on those chances, while St. Francis (8-1-1, 2-1-1) did.
“We didn’t take our chances when we had the opportunities,” Escobar said. “There was a phase of about 15 to 20 minutes [in the second half] where we had opportunities and we just didn’t convert.”
St. Francis tacked on another goal late in the 71st minute, when senior Alexandra Jones assisted teammate Alexandria Reckas on a goal from point-blank range.
SI senior captain Kate Bettinger accounted for five of the team’s shots on the day, including some near misses just wide and off the crossbar. Foster tallied six saves on the day as well.
“I think it was really important to get this win, because we did come off a loss and it just shows the character of this team,” said Hill. “It’s always hard to play at [St. Ignatius].”