GIRLS SOCCER: Bishop McNamara downs Peotone with offensive firepower
KANKAKEE — Bishop McNamara was more than ready to finally take to the soccer pitch, and it showed Tuesday.
In its season opener, the Irish blasted more than 30 shot-on-goal attempts that overwhelmed Peotone and led to a 3-0 Irish victory.
“Really great way to start the season,” Bishop McNamara coach Marty Ruberry said. “We have 15 girls, and I believe we have the right mix of kids on the team this year. It’s a nice mix of some young kids and older veterans, and I think we can do some damage and win a good amount of games.”
Although he was happy about the win and those 30-plus shot attempts, Ruberry wants to see his team finish better when they have those chances.
“Finishing at the goal is the big thing we’ll have to work on,” Ruberry said. “Getting all of those shots and coming away with only three goals isn’t great. [Peotone’s] goalie had some nice saves, but we also could have put the game away in the first half.”
Peotone got off the first shot attempt of the game, but that was the only serious threat it managed all night.
Once the ball was in front of the Irish, it was just a matter of time before they were firing away at the goal.
They managed a 7-1 shot advantage, but nothing connected until Elle Nugent found her younger sister, Halle, in the box and connected with the back of the net for a 1-0 lead into the break.
“I’ve coached both of them over the years, and it’s a special to see not just them playing together but also their other sister, Reilly, playing together,” Ruberry said. “It’s just a Nugent connection, and it showed on that goal.”
Although Peotone still had a chance to score an equalizer, Midori Dotson put the game essentially to bed with a goal into the bottom left corner of the net just minutes into the second half.
Ali Berg put the cherry on top with the game’s final goal as she collided with Peotone goalie Rachel Paw in the air, yet managed to connect with the back of the net despite a hard fall to the ground.
“We’re a more well-rounded team I think because we can attack from middle and our back line,” Ruberry said. “And that was great to see after just 4-5 practices outside. Liv Lorene did great in the attacking mid role of turning and spreading the ball wide; Lauren Krisko did all the dirty work and had great touches with the ball while winning every tackle.
“Elle did a lot of dirty work as well and played great. It also helps to have Ali inside, who is 6-foot-1 and can get the ball as well. This will be a dynamic team.”
Although no goalkeeper is perfect, Peotone’s Rachel Paw put forth one of the best efforts anyone could.
With Bishop McNamara having a field day getting off shots, Paw grabbed her lunch pail, clocked in and went to work.
No matter the distance of the shot, she was right there for the save and put herself in harm’s way to keep her team in the game.
Despite the Irish getting three goals past her, her efforts didn’t go unnoticed as she racked up 25 saves on the evening.
“She was all over the place — just an unbelievable game for her,” Peotone coach Justin Meyers said. “The game could have been in double digits because [Bishop McNamara] had that many chances, especially in the first half. They were getting balls through our back line, but Rachel played aggressive going out to get them and stopping their chances to score.”
Bishop McNamara is back in action Monday in a nonconference showdown at Herscher. Peotone travels to play Evergreen Park on Saturday.