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Girard girls soccer blanked by tough Poland defense

GIRARD — Under an off-and-on drizzle through most of the night, the Poland girls soccer team continued to show its defensive strength with its 11th shutout of the year in a 4-0 victory over Girard in Northeast-8 Conference play.

“Our team is a very defensive team,” Poland coach Joel Monaco said. “We’re very sound and stout. Our goalkeeper is fantastic. We’re building this team from the back up.”

The Bulldogs made some offensive changes that led to some success with their runners getting into the heart of the Girard (2-9, 1, 2-7-1) defense. Carolyn Boccieri scored less than four minutes into the contest to give the Bulldogs (9-0-5, 9-0-4) an early lead.

Poland had six shots on goal in the first half but dealt with some offsides penalties that interrupted their offense at times.

“Girard is tough,” Monaco said. “They are an up and coming team. They are getting things together. They run a very good offsides line. They run it well, almost to perfection. When you get a team like us tonight, still working on those fundamental skills, we’re still getting better at it. It was a good challenge for us tonight.”

“We’re very good at pulling offside traps,” Girard coach Kayla Richey said. “It tends to frustrate other teams which is always beneficial to get them caught off guard and get us going up the field. When we played them last, it was 1-0 with seven minutes left.”

This meeting didn’t stay 1-0 as Halle Sebest’s goal with 28:17 left in the opening half pushed the lead to 2-0 which proved troublesome for the Indians as they couldn’t get into their offensive sets nearly enough.

Poland’s high-pressure attack limited the Indians to just two shots on goal while the Bulldogs had 15 on goal. The barrage of shots in the opening six minutes of the second half saw two shots hit the top crossbar before Molly Malmer’s goal at the 34:43 mark made it 3-0.

For the Indians, Richey said the team is coming along, but had the unfortunate task of running up against a team that doesn’t give the opposition much on offense.

“They’re a tough team,” Richey said. “They haven’t lost a game yet. That’s always tough, but we possessed the ball and were able to move it around. It was good preparation for the tournament.”

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