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Madonna girls get past Magnolia to set up rematch with Red Riders

CHASING — Madonna’s Kristina Lesho and Magnolia’s Aubrey Ashenhart chase the ball during a Region 1 Section 1 contest on Monday at Brooke. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

WELLSBURG — The city championship rematch is set.

Angelina Spickard produced four goals, leading the No. 3 seed Madonna girls soccer team to an 8-1 victory against No. 6 seed Magnolia in a Class AA/A Region 1 Section 1 quarterfinal on a dreary Monday night on Paul “Bud” Billiard inside Brooke Memorial Stadium.

“It was a good night,” Madonna (6-8-3) head coach Bob Kolanko said. “We had a very rough week coming into this game. It was good that we came out early and were able to get the lead. That was good for the girls. We are moving in the right direction.”

The Blue Dons netted four goals in each half, and Madonna delivered the first eight goals of the match.

“We played really well,” Magnolia head coach Jennifer Emch said. “Things started clicking in the second half. That is the way it usually goes with our games. I am proud of the girls.”

With the win, Madonna will play No. 2 seed Weir in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at Jimmy Carey Stadium. The Red Riders earned a bye in the quarterfinals.

Bella Pulice, Liv Bine and Ella Wingett collected a goal and an assist each for Madonna, while Julia Wingett contributed a goal. Also, Sydney Crawford, Kristina Lesho and Sofia-Teresa DiBacco delivered an assist each. Abby Macek started, and she made two saves before being replaced by Pulice during the second half. Pulice made one save.

“We haven’t seen them this year,” Emch said. “Our game early in the season was canceled. We had all the changes to the schedules. They play the same as they did last year. I don’t know how many girls they lost from last year. They are a good team.”

Lexi Williams tallied the lone goal for the Blue Eagles and was unassisted. Marley Aliff finished the night with 10 saves in goal.

“They have a lot of speed,” Kolanko said. “I think they recruited their entire track team to play soccer. They have a lot speed, and their speed worried me. They have gotten better. They have some quality girls. If the girls keep playing and keep working, they are going to be good.”

The Red Riders shut out the Blue Dons, 2-0, in the annual city championship game Sept. 19 at Jimmy Carey.

“A lot has changed since then,” Kolanko said. “They are dealing with losing Madison (Crowe), and we are dealing with our fair share of injuries. I think it is going to be a totally different game.”

Crowe and her mother Melissa Rowland died Sept. 24. The city championship was Crowe’s last game.

“Our girls knew Madison really well,” Kolanko said. “Some of them played with her when she was 10. That was a hard week for everybody. We were able to pull together and win an OVAC championship. Hopefully, you are going to see that team Thursday.

“There is going to be a lot of different emotions. It is a sectional game. If you win, you get to keep playing. If you lose, you are done. It has been a rough season with COVID and all the schedule changes and with what happened to Madison. It has been an odd year.”

Magnolia ends the season with one win and one tie, with both of those results coming against Tyler Consolidated. The Blue Eagles are losing two seniors in Gloria Hernandez and Mikalyn Renner.

The match originally was scheduled to be played on the grass field at Brooke, but it was moved to the turf field.

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