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St. Mary's cruises past James Irwin in girls' 3A soccer
The freight train that is the St. Mary’s girls’ soccer team kept right on chugging Saturday afternoon.
Behind a first-half hat trick from senior midfielder Dawn Reachard and stingy defense, the Pirates dispatched James Irwin 8-0 at Joe Dorris Field. Pikes Peak 3A No. 1 St. Mary’s (10-1, 4-0 3A Region 1) extended its shutout streak to six games and did not allow a shot on goal for the third straight outing.
“I think we started sluggishly because we played late yesterday, and I think the speed of the turf threw us as well,” St. Mary’s coach Gregg Braha said. “We played on thick grass last night, and this turf was much faster. But once we got into a rhythm, we seemed to do fine.”
The game was scoreless for the first 27:41 before Reachard found the net to put the Pirates up 1-0. She struck again 31 seconds later and earned the hat trick with 3:37 remaining in the half.
“James Irwin is a very good defensive team, but once we started connecting our passes and pulling together as a team, we saw what was open and could get those shots off,” said Reachard, who has 10 goals on the season. “We’re always working hard and are trying to improve every game, because each team we play is a little better. We’re excited for our next (few) games.”
The second half was a youth movement, with freshman forward Kylie Cleary scoring twice in the first 7:30 and sophomore Ana Nutter and freshmen Maleia Lark and Michelle Mouré also adding goals.
The win put St. Mary’s in the driver’s seat to earn yet another league title, with its April 30 tilt against Colorado Springs School deciding the championship. The Pirates also have big tests against 2011 state finalist Peak to Peak (April 24) and defending state champion The Classical Academy (May 3) looming before the playoffs begin.
“I think we’re right on track to where we need to be,” Braha said. “Two of our last few games will give us a good measure of whether we’re ready for the playoffs. We’re not sure if we know that yet.
“We’ll get to see what the better-looking teams in 3A are like and if we can hang in there.”
James Irwin (4-5-3, 3-1-1) lost for the first time in four games, but Jaguars coach Gary Douglas was pleased by his team’s effort.
“I was very proud of my girls,” Douglas said. “They fought the whole game, and that’s all I can ask for. With a powerhouse like St. Mary’s, you’ve got to be able to contain them. We did that for the first 30 minutes, but unfortunately we had some breakdowns and they were able to put a few away.”