John Erardi reports:
Oh, the vagaries of this game.
Mason fell to Walsh Jesuit 2-0 Friday night in the girls state Division I girls soccer championship at Crew Stadium.
At times, the set pieces in a soccer match seem as positionable as troop movements in the order of battle, and at other times it’s more of a contest of unpredictable bounces, breaks and the rub of the pitch.
- Photos: Comets fall to Warriors
For the most part, the Walsh Warriors took the latter out of it, knowing Mason’s knack for turning slivers of light into goals and victories.
It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Comets – but somebody forgot to tell the players. They just kept winning, until they crashed. It came hard, as one would expect from a team accustomed to coming out on top.
‘‘They (the Walsh Warriors) pressed us harder than anybody’s pressed us all year,’’ said Mason coach Andy Schur. ‘‘Until you experience that level of pressure, it takes a little while in game to adust… They put us on our back foot a lot.’’
By pressure Schur means the defense runs toward your offense, allowing no free passes, contesting everything. Strength, speed and physicality dictates it.
‘‘It makes a difference on the back end,’’ Schur said. ‘‘They can play you two against two or three against three and still give you a hard time.’’
The ball was on Mason’s defensive third quite a bit, and Walsh turned two corner kicks into goals.
Walsh’s first goal came off a corner kick with 4:39 in the first half, when Mason was unable to clear it and freshman Sofia Rosi blasted it in.
‘‘A misclearance, I had a miscommunication with one of my teammates,’’ said Mason sophomore goalkeeper Toni Bizzarro.
The second goal also came off a corner kick, this one with 10 minutes left in the game.
A Walsh player kept it alive with a slick kick backward over her head – her back was facing the goal – and then came a hard shot off the post, with sophomore Katie Quinn slamming in the carom.
‘‘Also a misclearance, another miscommunication,’’ said Bizzarro. ‘‘They had so many opportunities on that one, it was just bound to go in.’’