St. Francis girls struggle to scoreless tie with Sacred Heart

By Dylan Butler

There were no tears or cries of disappointment from the St. Francis Prep girls soccer team when their game against Sacred Heart was stopped with five minutes left in the second half because of lightning in the vicinity.

Considering they were forced to start three freshmen because of injuries to three starters, the Terriers were just fine with walking off the field at Kennedy Memorial Park in Hempstead with their first league point from the scoreless draw Monday.

“We have some young girls who just need a few more games under their belts to show what they have,” said St. Francis Prep senior midfielder Filippa Petruccelli. “It was important [to get the point] because even though we have some people down with injury we have unity.”

Instead of trying to score on the field, senior Lynne Dunham was forced to sit with starting sweeper Catherine Galiano, as they kept score on the sideline. Despite an ankle injury, freshman defender Jacklyn James started the game, but left midway through the field half.

Because of the injuries, St. Francis Prep head coach John Jenkins had to play a pair of relatively inexperienced forwards in juniors Iman Sandimanie and Laura Doyle. Sandimanie showed flashes of speed, while Doyle changed the scope of the game in the second half with her size.

“What they lack in skill, they make up ten fold in aggressiveness,” Jenkins said. “Those two forwards in the second half won a tremendous amount of balls up front. For a pair of brand new forwards, they did great.”

Sacred Heart (0-1-1, 0-0-1 Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Girls Athletic Association) controlled most of the game and had the most dangerous opportunities, but the Spartans struggled to finish.

Their best chance came in the 69th minute when Prep freshman keeper Christina Aquillon lost control of Sue Lynch’s cross. With Aquillon lying prone on the ground, Sacred Heart's Lauren Errico shot the ball towards the open net. But St. Francis Prep forward Christine Lettieri was there to push the ball off the goal line and preserve the tie.

The Spartans also had quality scoring opportunities in the 62nd and 63rd minute, but Alana O’Connor’s cross from 20 yards out just missed the net and Erin Sutton’s shot from inside the 18-yard box was pushed away by Aquillon for a corner kick.

Kellenberg 3, St. Francis Prep 0. Kellenberg made the most of its three shots, scoring on all three as the Terriers dropped their league opener Friday in Uniondale. Following a home game against Notre Dame in a game scheduled for Wednesday, St. Francis Prep heads to Manhasset on Long Island to face St. Mary’s Monday at 4 p.m.

More from Around New York