Northshore powerhouse Archbishop Hannan High came to the Lions home on banks of the mighty Mississippi to face underdog Ursuline Academy under a full moon and facing weather in the 40's. The Hawks are the sixth seeded team in the LHSAA Division III power rankings. In the previous two seasons versus Ursuline Academy - the powerful Hawks ended the matches early with the 8-0 mercy rule. The upstart Lions were determined to fight it out for the full time on this night in mid-January 2022.
The game plan was inspired by Jose Mourinho and the great catenaccio (door bolt) strategists of Italian Serie A - play strong defense. On this night, the defensive strategy was largely successful.
The Hawks scored early - in the tenth minute. The Lions frustrated the attacking Hawks over and over. By half time, the Hawks had 31 shots / 13 shots on target / 7 corner kicks – but only that one goal. The Lions continually blocked shots – gave poor angles. The Hawks couldn’t get a clean look at the net.
The Lions kept the Hawks from getting open shots on goal. The swarming attack of the back line – Junior Emma Scobel, Junior Mae Ying Stock-Bordnick, 8th grader Aribelle Holley, Sophomore Isa Suarez, Sophomore Isabel Lambiet and Junior Keira Kelly blocked many shots. Aggressive goalkeeper play from Junior Jenna Hoisington kept the Hawks from hitting the net.
Starting the second half, the Lions upped the pressure and reduced the Hawks passing numbers by almost 13%. The Hawks continued working to fabricate shots on goal again in the second half - with 30 shots / 16 shots on target / 1 corner kick. With the frenzy of attacks, the Hawks were able to score 2 goals in the 42nd minute (OG) and the 57th minute.
Junior goalkeeper Jenna Hoisington had 20 saves on the night. Freshman goalkeeper Gracie Frank had 9 saves in the second half.
Perspective on Challenging a Strong Opponent
Testing your mettle means someone showing how resilient they are when faced with adversity.
As a blacksmith uses heat to temper steel, so should a trial by fire strengthen one’s mettle.
In training to become a U.S. Marine - the final challenge of recruit training is known as the Crucible. It is a 54-hour training exercise that validates the physical, mental and moral training they've endured throughout recruit training.
During the recent games our State Street girls have tested themselves - challenged themselves - learned much more about what each has inside, as U.S. Marine trainees going through the Crucible. They are learning that they are stronger than they were at the beginning of the season. They are stronger than they thought they could be. There is much more that they can still do out there on the field.
Much more to play for – much more to learn about what they can do.