Watertown is moving on to a second round matchup against Maimonides after the girls’ soccer team beat Pope John 3-0 at Chelsea High School on Saturday.
Entering the game, the Red Raiders were trying to make it 3-0 against non-conference teams this season while Pope John was seeing its first postseason action since 2006. Most important is that the winner would face Maimonides, which earned a first round bye, while the losing team’s season would come to an end.
Due to some great passing and maintaining possession of the ball for most of the game, coach Kaz Keuchkarian and the Red Raiders earned the win and will face Maimonides today.
“They played with high energy for 80 minutes,” Keuchkarian said. “We wanted to focus on today and not worry about Maimonides. We don’t have much time to prepare for them, we just have to keep up the energy and good passing.”
Watertown opened the scoring with a little more than 11 minutes to play in the first half. A deflected shot ended up in front of sophomore Liana Sandel who proceeded to drive the ball into the lower left corner of the net past the dive of sophomore keeper Amanda Reis.
“Our offense was motivated and clicking,” Keuchkarian said. “We’ve faced a lot of tough teams this season but the girls have never stopped playing good team soccer.”
Five minutes into the second half, great passing from the midfielders led to a 1-on-0 breakaway for sophomore forward Gabriella Coppola. Reis didn’t stand a chance as Coppola and the Red Raiders extended their lead 2-0.
The Tigers’ coach, Mike Kenney, said his team struggled offensively without its star player - sophomore forward Kim Tran. Tran was named the Catholic League’s MVP despite suffering an ACL injury that sidelined her for the last six games of the regular season.
“Our seniors should be really proud,” Kenney said. “A big goal of ours was to make the postseason.”
With a little more than four minutes to play, Red Raiders’ sophomore Christina Mazzeo got a rebound from a saved shot and put it past Reis for the third and final goal of the game.