Lady Crusaders on quest for section crown
Before the Bishop Canevin girls soccer team took to the field last week to play Carlynton, the seven veteran players were honored as part of senior night festivities.
Once the game got under way, the Lady Crusaders made sure to keep the good vibes going as they defeated the Lady Cougars, 5-0.
“It was our senior night so we wanted to play all the seniors, which we did,” Bishop Canevin coach Ted Perri said. “Then the second half of the game was a glimpse of our future as we played a bunch of underclassmen. Everyone got a lot of playing time, which is a good thing.”
It didn't take long for Bishop Canevin to find the net as senior Mia Chiatto sent the ball into the right side of the goal 48 seconds into the game.
Two minutes later Kala Cinker collected a loose ball in front of the Carlynton goal and sent the ball into the back of the net to extend the lead to 2-0.
Bishop Canevin kept the intensity up going into the second half as freshman Samantha Vanek passed to sophomore Julia Martin for a goal at the 31:56 mark.
With 14 minutes left in the game, Chiatto collected the ball at midfield and drove the ball down the field on a break away before scoring her second goal.
Junior Julianne Hart got a ball into the net at the 6:01 mark to extend the lead to 5-0. Hart scored a second goal with three seconds to go, but it was called off due to an offside call.
It was the 14th straight time Bishop Canevin defeated Carlynton, a streak that dates back to 2004. The intensity until the final whistle is something Perri is pleased to see from his squad.
The Lady Crusaders' only blemish — a 3-2 loss to Ellis School back on Sept. 10 — came as a result of the team letting an opponent back into the game.
“We went up, 2-0, on them and no one showed up in the second half,” Perri said. “It was a huge wake-up call. They are all pushing each other in practice now. Pracitces are fun but hard now. We came together as a team”
Since that loss, Bishop Canevin has been dominating the competition, going 6-0-1 and outscoring opponents, 29-5.
“We have been figuring out who to put where,” Perri said. “At the beginning of the season we thought we had what would be a good lineup but we have slowly moved it around and now things are falling into place. We have players starting now who weren't starters at the beginning of the season.
“Anyone on this team can step up and be a starter, which really says a lot about the depth of this team.”
The Lady Crusaders are 9-1-1 overall with a 7-1-1 mark in Section 3-A.
Bishop Canevin holds a one-game lead over Seton-La Salle and Avonworth in the Section 3-A standings. Ellis School is two games out of first.
Carlynton is in last place with an 0-10 conference mark.
“The section title is in our hands,” Perri said. “We can win it outright.”
For the Lady Crusaders to win the section crown, the last week of the season will prove to be the deciding factor.
Earlier this week Bishop Canevin faced Avonworth and Seton-La Salle — results were unavailable at press time — and plays Steel Valley on Thursday.
While it is a difficult way to end the season, Perri said his squad welcomes the challenge. It should prove to be beneficial as they look ahead to the Class A playoffs.
“They would rather play than practice,” Perri said. “It is going to be a tough week. We also are trying to set up a scrimmage against a Class AAA playoff contender.
“We want to play top-notch competition going into our class playoffs.”
Bishop Canevin returns to the field Thursday as it travels to Steel Valley in the season finale and the Lady Crusaders try to wrap up the Section 3-A title. Start time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.