Central Catholic Raiders Girls Soccer '08

Tue, Nov 11, 2008 03:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1st 2nd Final
Playoff Game
Arlington 1 0 1
Central Catholic 1 1 2

'Gorgeous' goal lifts Central

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Centrals Gia O'Connor kicks the ball past two defenders and the goalkeeper to score and put Central ahead 2-1 in the second half action of the girls soccer game. Central won 2-1 over Arlington at the Lawrence Veterans Memorial Stadium. Photo by Tim Jean/Eagle-Tribune  » TIM JEAN, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tuesday, November, 11 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

LAWRENCE — The goal was picturesque.

“Gorgeous,” coach Anne Marinaro called it.

Gia O’Connor’s right-footed strike, a redirect of Marielle Elie’s corner kick early in the second half, gave Central Catholic a 2-1 win over Arlington in the Division 2 North quarterfinals at Veterans Memorial Stadium last night. The Raiders will face No. 3 Reading in the semis tomorrow at 7 p.m.

“I saw it go in, I fell,” O’Connor said of the game winner, her ninth goal of the year, “then the girls went over me and started screaming.”

It was more of the same for the soft spoken senior midfielder, who has quietly become a force this fall.

“Gia is definitely a rock,” coach Anne Marinaro said. “She’s in the middle of the field for us. She really controls the flow of our game.”

No. 2 Central (16-2-2) actually trailed No. 10 Arlington (10-6-4) early. But after the Spy Ponders took a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the first half, senior forward Ashley Evangelista quickly answered with her 18th goal of the season.

“It was imperative that we come back and score within 30 seconds of them scoring,” Marinaro said.

Evangelista was her usual explosive self, making run after run as the game progressed. The Raiders never truly pulled away, but Arlington rarely threatened. Afterward, Evangelista, who said she’s leaning toward playing soccer at University of Rhode Island next year, was complimentary of O’Connor.

“She’s really kept everything going,” said Evangelista, who scored a pair of goals against Wilmington in the first round. “She’s the spark plug we need.”

The Raiders ended the post-game huddle by chanting “17” in reference to their next potential victory, which would send them to the North final.

Scary moment

Arlington starting goalie Brett Whelan was carted off the field by paramedics late in the first half after a collision in the box. The junior did not lose consciousness, but complained of head and neck pain. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Game Statistics:

Goals: C — Ashley Evangelista, Gia O'Connor; A — Rebecca Robinson

Assists: C — Marielle Elie; A — Rebecca O'Quinn

Saves: C — Lauren Hoole 4; A — Brett Whelan 2, Molly Lobel 7

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