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Mooney soccer upsets ranked foe

YOUNGSTOWN — If anything can be taken away from Cardinal Mooney’s 3-1 win over the Berlin Hiland Hawks on Saturday afternoon, it’s that the Cardinals have clinched their first winning season in five years.

For first-year coach Matthew Britton, success this season speaks for itself.

“This is my first year here, so we had to change the culture from the start,” he said. “I think they’ve won 12 games in three years, so this is a team that is much better than that, and we’re just trying to show everyone that, historically, Mooney is the top program in this area.”

The Cardinals have the most district titles in the area, but have fallen behind the last few seasons. Britton credits his seniors for helping them take a step forward this fall.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors to walk into,” he said. “From day one, we’ve been conditioning since May, and they’ve been everything I could ask for.”

It was a 0-0 for much of the match until Mooney broke the tie at the 27:59 mark in the second half with a goal by junior Justin Durkin.

Not much later, senior Andrew Philibin followed it up with of goal himself to make it 2-0. The Hawks scored later in the second half to make it 2-1, but Mooney struck right back with a goal by senior Mark Armile to seal the deal on the Cardinals’ 3-1 win.

Senior Nick Jadue and junior Brian Philibin each recorded an assist for Mooney, and junior goalkeeper Erik Vargo notched four saves.

Mooney (8-6-1) has one more regular season game Tuesday against their rival Ursuline before postseason play.

“We’re going to take this effort, and continue it forward. Like I said, the boys gave everything they had, and they’ve got more to give'” Britton said. We’re going to continue this going forward, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

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