Madonna tops Creek in final home game

WEIRTON — The Madonna girls soccer team controlled the middle of the field against Indian Creek, and it paid dividends for the Blue Dons.

Madonna netted two goals in the first half, and the defense made the lead stand up as the Blue Dons shut out the Redskins, 2-0, on senior night Wednesday at the J.C. Williams Soccer Complex.

“We did a better job of controlling the middle of the field,” Madonna (9-9-1) head coach Bob Kolanko. “When it comes down to it, we have to make connecting passes. We challenged more in the middle of the field. That is a step in the right direction. We did not give up.”

The Blue Dons scored an early goal and added a late goal in the first half.

“Against Beaver Local we played a solid 80 minutes,” first-year Indian Creek (2-10-2) head coach Cate Calissie said. “We switched it on too late. We did not play for a full 80 minutes. When we don’t do that, games don’t work out in our favor very often.”

The Spickard sisters — Gabriella and Angelina — produced the goals for the Blue Dons, while Isabella Pulice tallied an assist.

Due to an injury, Madonna had to use two goalies in the match. Julia Wingett started the match in the net, and she made two saves, one in each half. Winegtt was injured late in the first half, and the junior was replaced by Mia Chiodo, who made one save.

Indian Creek also used two keepers with each one playing a half. Maddie Ballato started, and she made two saves, Kylie Anderson played the second half in goal, and she made four saves.

The Blue Dons outshot the Redskins, 10-4.

“We can make those chances happen,” Calissie said. “Our girls have the heart to create those opportunities. We are gaining experience at this level, and that is something we can develop and build on for next year.”

Madonna took eight shots on goal, while Indian Creek took three.

“Indian Creek had quite a few chances,” Kolanko said. “That is where our defense excels. We put pressure on them, and they don’t get a lot of free balls in the middle of the field. Our pressure limited the number of quality chances they had.”

Gabreilla Spicakrd, who tallied two goals Monday against Big Red, opened the scoring off an assist by Pulice in the seventh minute to give the Blue Dons the early 1-0 lead. The shot trickled past Ballato and into the net.

The score remained the same for about 30 minutes when Angelina Spickard – the older sister – scored on a free kick to the near post increasing the Blue Dons’ advantage to 2-0.

Indian Creek had to adjust to playing on the grass field.

“We are used to playing on turf,” Calissie said. “We didn’t win the 50-50 balls.”

The Blue Dons took 10 goal kicks, while Indian Creek took five. The Redskins had a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.

“They are a totally different team, and they have a new coach,” Kolanko said about Indian Creek. “Their coach is doing a very-good job with them. They had a lot of good fundamental play, and that is good to see for the direction of their program. They only have two seniors.”

Calissie is very familiar with Kolanko and the Blue Dons. Calissie, a Wheeling Central graduate, played against Madonna throughout her soccer career.

“I played against them in high school,” Calissie said. “They played a pretty-similar style to when I was in high school. They controlled the middle of the field. No. 4 (Gabriella Spickard) has a lot of speed, and she utilized it tonight. They play with a lot of heart.”

Kolanko said Calissie is doing a good job with her team.

“She did a good job,” he said. “One thing I like to do is sit and listen to what the other coach says, and see how things develop. That helps me with my team. She said a lot of good stuff to her players. The players did a good job. I think she is doing a good job.”

Madonna honored its four seniors — Sofia-Teresa Dibacco, Angelina Spickard, Kristina Lesho and Pulice — at halftime.

“It is tough on them playing here for the last time,” Kolanko said. “This is the last time they are going to play on this field. We are not going to be hosting any playoff games. Angelia and Isabella played on this field when they were little. They played on it for travel. They have played on it for 10 years. That is a lot of soccer games. Sofia came to us as a sophomore. She played three years on this field. She played 30-plus games here. Kristina played four years. She has played more than 40 games here. That is hard to turn off. There is something sentimental about it.

“We don’t have a stadium. We don’t have a turf field. We don’t have all the amenities. This is our field.

“Yesterday, someone thought it was a good idea to drive their car all over the field. You can see it. I hope they destroyed their suspension or their alignment. Our kids have to play on this field. We have to make sure the field is safe for the girls to play on. It is not funny. I feel for the soul who thinks this is funny.”

Indian Creek will wrap up its regular season when it plays East Liverpool at 6 p.m. tonight on the road.

The game was the Blue Dons’ final regular season game. Weir will play Magnolia in a West Virginia Class AA-A Region 1 Section 1 Quarterfinal Monday at Jimmy Carey Stadium, and the winner of that game will play Madonna in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oak Glen.

“Losing seniors is always hard,” Kolanko said. “I think they have started every game while they were here. I don’t think they missed any games. Sofia came to us as a sophomore, and she started for three years. That is a lot of soccer games.”


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