46 degrees F / 8 degrees C and 100% chance of rain for game time. Not what anyone would want for their Senior Night game. When a team is strong, when a bond of commitment to the achievement of the greater good is intensely resilient, it can change the way we handle even the most difficult obstacles. The related quote about this type of experience from Ana Claudia Antunes is "Life keeps throwing me stones. And I keep finding the diamonds." Our soccer community delivered a diamond on this night.
The whole community supporting our State Street Lions were fully committed for this 2022 Senior Night. Fans, family, players, and coaches pulled off one of the greatest Senior nights this past Monday at Lafreniere Park on the $2 million-dollar new turf field. Senior McKenna Brannan and Senior Natalia Mann and their families were honored in a pre-game ceremony in the light drizzle that could not deny these warm hearts. Coach Harry Mason took the microphone and regaled all with the warmth of feelings for these two important players on the team. Rachel Scobel (Emma Scobel's mom) and Alina Hernandez (Isabel Lambiet's mom) worked to get baskets for the seniors, signs, and treats. It was impressive to see the Student Pep Squad come out to wave signs for the Seniors. Special notes from teammates were written for each senior to know they are loved.
Not the fanfare, not the bitter cold, not even the rain would deter the quality soccer our girls would play on this special night. Helen Cox came into the game 5-6-1 hoping to move to .500. This blazing furnace of coal inside the steam train that is Ursuline Academy Varsity Soccer came out ready to prove the Seniors were on a great team for the ages. Prior to half time, Senior McKenna Brannan wove in and out of the Helen Cox defensive line to kickstart the offense. Senior Natalia Mann threatened the goal as an imposing striker - blasting through on every opportunity. So great was her aggressive play, Mann was called offsides more than a few times - pressuring the goal greatly. Impartial soccer observers remote to the match knew before half time - this Lions team was not to be denied on this day.
Through the previous 12 games in 2022 that Helen Cox had played, the mercy rule (ending the game due to an 8-goal differential) had not come into play. The State Street gang saw the opportunities opening with each smart pass, with each smart drive up the wing. The game did end early after half time due to the mercy rule. Lions 8, Cougars 0: 4 goals for Junior Emma Scobel, 3 goals for Senior McKenna Brannan, 1 goal from Freshman Nimah Baloney. Goalkeeper play was handled by Junior Jenna Hoisington and Freshman Gracie Frank.