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Big Red girls soccer team claims city title over Steubenville Catholic Central

AHEAD OF THE PACK — Big Red’s Mary Marshall scores a goal past Catholic Central defenders Kathryn Bolster, left, Maria Mitch and Carolyn Kuebler during Monday’s contest. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

STEUBENVILLE — Libby Saccoccia collected a hat trick, while Mary Marshall tallied two goals and four assists to lead the Big Red girls soccer team to a 7-1 victory over Catholic Central to win the city championship Monday evening on the Tony Recinella Soccer Field at the Michael Carapellotti Crusader Sports Complex.

“We came alive in the second half,” first-year Big Red (4-1-1) head coach Annie Cutri said. “We were definitely flat in the first half. In the second half, we stepped to the ball, we played together and we were able to keep possession.”

Big Red recorded two goals in the first half before erupting for five more in the second.

“They scored two goals early in the second half, and that flipped the momentum in their favor,” Catholic Central (3-2-2) head coach Jonathan Hoover said.

Anastasia Crisante contributed two goals and an assist for Steubenville, while Chloe Petrelle produced an assist. Lakyn Blackburn started in goal, and she made four saves before being replaced late in the second half. Adelaide Shaw did not make a save.

“They played the ball quicker than we did,” Hoover said. “They did not do anything complicated. They played simple 1-2s.”

Maria Meyer netted the lone goal of the game for the Crusaders. Bre DeChristopher made 14 saves in goal for Catholic Central.

“No. 15 (Becca Bolster) was phenomenal,” Cutri said. “Their keeper was awesome. She made some great saves on some of Mary’s shots. Her punts were awesome. They have got some quality girls.”

The game was scoreless until Crisante buried a shot into the back of the net, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the match.

The game remained 1-0 until there was about five minutes left to play before halftime when Saccoccia netted her first goal to give Big Red a 2-0 advantage.

“They are definitely one of our rivals,” Cutri said. “We are dealing with a lot of injuries right now. It has affected the momentum of our season. We started off kind of slow, but we had the drive to play in the second half.”

Saccoccia and Marshall scored early in the second half to give the victors a 4-0 lead. Big Red tacked on three more goals in the half, while Catholic Central collected one.

“It is definitely a rivalry game,” Hoover said. “It is something the girls are aware of. They enjoy playing this game. They just got the better of us this year.”

Big Red out-shot Catholic Central, 26-5. Big Red ripped 20 shots on goal, while all five of the Crusaders shots were on goal.

“I wouldn’t say we could not keep up with them,” Hoover said. “They did a better job of controlling the midfield. We tried to take advantage of their back line. They were not playing the ball in the air. We won a lot of the 50-50 balls. They were not challenging us. We just missed on our opportunities.”

Big Red continues to excel at finding the back of the net, as it has scored 36 goals in six games for an average of six goals a game.

“We are working on trying to get passes at the top of the box,” Cutri said. “We are trying to get plays through and not through just kicking the ball over and having someone take a shot. We had three girls score today, but they were trying to get everyone involved in the attack.”

UP NEXT

Catholic Central: Hosts Madonna at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Steubenville: Hosts Philo at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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