Cards top Comets, 3-1
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
St. Charles went undefeated in district play last season on the way to its second consecutive district championship.
A third straight title may still be in the cards, but on Tuesday host E.D. White ended their unbeaten streak.
The Cardinals defeated the Comets 3-0, putting St. Charles in the position of now likely having to beat E.D. White twice to win district – once in the teams’ rematch this Friday at St. Charles (5-11-1, 1-1), and once more in a one match playoff if that happens.
(See SOCCER, Page 12A)
“I don’t think the score was an indication of how close these teams really are,” said St. Charles Coach Don Peyton. “It was a very evenly played game. We had a few bad breaks that cost us against a good team.”
E.D. White led 1-0 in the first half when St. Charles was called for a tripping penalty in its own box. The Cardinals converted the short penalty kick to go ahead 2-0.
“They were able to score twice on a couple of quick bang-bang plays,” said Peyton. “That set us back. Both teams played very well, and it was a very physical game.”
St. Charles’ Jessica Rauch had to leave the match due to a hamstring issue, which Peyton said allowed the Cardinals to shift more defensive focus on leading scorer Reyna Lubin. Lubin had scored nine goals in St. Charles’ last two games.
“They were able to key on her,” said Peyton. “We’d like to be able to open up their defense a bit more, and we’ll do some things and move people around to make that happen next time.”
Peyton also credited White’s veteran leadership as a reason they make for a tough win. The Cardinals have 10 senior starters.
Peyton was also careful to make sure that his team did not get too down after the loss.
“It’s a battle that they won, but the war hasn’t been won yet, so to speak,” said Peyton. “And as I told the girls, even if we finish in second place, we still have a season ahead of us, in the playoffs.”
For St. Charles to maintain a chance at first place, however, they must first defeat Riverside on Sunday in another district contest. The teams will begin play at 1.