By Joseph Staszewski
Monsignor McClancy girls’ soccer squad won the program’s first title with just a single goal last season. This year, it saw its hopes for a repeat dashed by the same margin.
A 55th-minute goal by St. Edmund sophomore Josephine Romano was enough to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory over McClancy in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Class A final at Aviator Sports and Events Center Monday night.
Romano split two defenders while running onto a pass. Once she was free, she saw the keeper charging her way. Romano shot early and on target into the lower right corner from 15 yards out to tally the game’s only goal. It was the best chance St. Edmund had to score and it didn’t miss it.
“We had a lot of chances and we couldn’t convert,” Crusader coach Robert May said. “They had one shot on goal and that was it. This happens. I see it all the time.”
May was pleased with his team just making it to the final, considering the injuries it battled all season. It played without leading goal scorer Victoria Ramirez (down with a knee injury) for most of the year and saw a number of its younger players step up to earn them the right to defend the team’s crown.
“For her to go down, it hit us for awhile, but then we got back on our feet and I think that is what made coach really proud of us,” said McClancy’s Nikole Saa.
McClancy (9–4–5) controlled play and had the majority of the shots on goal for much of the first half, but couldn’t put away its scoring opportunities. St. Edmund (9–5–4) kept the majority of its team in the defensive third to keep Saa and Alex Ulic from having their way.
The two nearly tied the score in the 71st minute. Ulic sent a cross to Saa in front of an open net by the far post. Saa stuck her foot out, but was unable to get a touch.
“These guys stepped up and they got us to here, which is pretty remarkable,” May said. “I’ve very pleased with them.”