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Madonna cruises to win, will face Weir next

SCORING RUN — Madonna’s Kelsey Crawford races in front of Tyler Consolidated’s Stevie Adams during the Class AA/A sectional tournament on Tuesday. --Joe Catullo

WELLSBURG — The Madonna girls soccer team had a reversal of fortunate against Tyler Consolidated.

The Blue Dons have been getting off to slow start this season, resulting in them from having to play from behind. However, that was not the case against the Silver Knights. Madonna, the No. 3 seed, scored five goals in less than 11 minutes to open the match against Tyler Consolidated, the sixth seed, and did not look back, en route to a 10-0 victory in a Class AA/A Region 1, Section 1 quarterfinal Thursday evening on Paul “Bud” Billiard Field inside Brooke Memorial Stadium.

“I don’t know why, but we have had to play from behind,” Madonna (12-7-2) head coach Bob Kolanko said. “We have given up early goals. We changed that tonight. We scored our first couple of goals early on, and that was great for us.”

The Blue Dons would have scored more goals if not for the strong play of Tyler Consolidated goalie Briann Templeton.

“She’s great,” first-year Tyler Consolidated (1-16) head coach Merritt Grimes said. “She’s amazing. She has made 232 saves on the season, and she’s a sophomore.”

Templeton made 13 saves before being pulled in the second half. Trinity Kranz replaced her in the net and made one save.

“She made some great saves,” Kolanko said about Templeton. “Don’t look at the numbers. She was aggressive. She played well. I was happy to see her stand up for her team.

“They played well. They are in a developing situation. I think they have a lot to look forward to.”

With the win, Madonna will now play city-rival Weir, the second seed, in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at Jimmy Carey Stadium.

“Every time you play Weir High it is a big game,” Kolanko said. “They beat us 1-0 in the regular season. I don’t think this game will be 1-0. Both teams are playing very well. It is going to be exciting. We will see what happens.”

Kali Krynicki and Isabella Pulice each collected two goals and two assists to lead the way for Madonna. Kelsey Crawford tallied two goals and an assist. Sydney Crawford, Sofia-Teresa Dibacco and starting goalie Abby Macek all delivered a goal and an assist, while Madison Bine netted one. Angelina Spickard and Gabriella Green each recorded an assist.

The Blue Dons used two goalies. Macek played the first half in goal, and she made one save. DiBacco played the second half and made two saves.

“This is our first year as coaches,” Grimes said. “This was a learning experience for us and for the kids.”

Madonna led 7-0 at halftime.

“We have seen a huge improvement from the first day until now — even with us as coaches,” Grimes said.

The Blue Dons played more than half the game with 10 players on the field.

“We played two really tough games against East Fairmont and John Marshall, and both of those games were ties,” Kolanko said. “The girls realize one more play here or there could be the difference in a game. We don’t want to leave anything on the field. The girls are going to do everything they can. We were very aggressive today.”

The sectional final is scheduled for Saturday. Oak Glen is the top seed and also plays Thursday at home.

“It’s win and advance,” Kolanko said. “We just wanted to get through this game without any injuries. The girls played with a lot of energy. They were able to do what they needed to do. They were able to stay focused. They were really focused for the first 30 minutes.”

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