Ursuline Soccer Roars in Belle Chasse

The UA Lions finished the season Friday night, under the lights in Belle Chasse’s Cardinal Stadium. It was a fast paced, competitive, and high scoring game. In the first half, the Lions outplayed the Cardinals and had many shots on goal, but it was the Cardinals who snuck one past Junior goalie Jenna Hoisington to start the scoring. But UA would not be deflated. They roared back. Junior Emma Scobel threw the ball into play, Senior Captain McKenna Brannan received it, and raced past two Belle Chasse defenders and scored off her left foot to tie the game, 1-1.
 
Belle Chasse quickly answered and went up 2-1. The Lions were outplaying the Cardinals. Midfielders Sophomore Isa Suarez and 8th grader Lillian Wiseman thwarted attacks down the middle. Junior Kiera Kelly and Sophomore Izzy Lambiet protected the sidelines. The ball was passed up the field to Scobel, who fed it to Brannan, who took a deft touch and shot it into the right corner, tying the game again at 2-2, where it stayed until after the halftime break.
 
After an encouraging talk at half, the Ursuline Lions were consciously working on a solid possession when a dribbling Wiseman took a hard foul 35 yards out from the goal.  Steady Brannan took the free kick - there goes another one - 3-2 Ursuline.  At that moment, our talisman Brannan had earned a hat trick – 3 goals.  UA Forwards - both the ardent Sophomore Ava Pelletier and the energetic 8th grader Vivian Reece - kept looking for openings behind the defense and pressuring the goalie.
 
Despite some physical play and increasing frustration on both sides, center backs 8th grader Aribelle Holley and Junior Mae Ying Stock-Bordnick stood strong. Unfortunately, Belle Chasse made it 4-3 off a corner kick. But soon after, Freshman Nimah Baloney started an attack by passing a long ball down the sidelines. Scobel, showing her blazing speed, chased the ball down to keep it in bounds. She crossed the ball to the middle of the goal where Brannan took a touch, and shot the ball over the goalie into the top right corner of the net.  Now, the Senior Captain had 4, but we needed more to win.  It was a tie game (4-4) with 8 minutes to go!
 
UA survived several more offensive attacks from Belle Chasse. Goalie Gracie Frank was outstanding - she even made a save with her face during a mad scramble in the mouth of the goal. Special shout out to the UA student section! Their cheers of “U-A, U-A!” filled the stadium and spurred the Lions on their hunt for victory. With two minutes left, and Coach Mason encouraging the Lions to “Work,” Brannan passed the ball to Scobel on the wing. Scobel sent it into the goal box, where Jenna Hoisington laid it off to Nimah Baloney who calmly shot it into the bottom corner for the game winner! 5-4
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