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Coming up short: Prep girls fall to St. Anthony’s, again

Kaitlin Purcell is sure the St. Francis Prep girls’ soccer team can beat St. Anthony’s, the defending Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Girls Athletic Association champions. But for three years, the Terriers captain has walked off the field without a victory, including last year’s championship game, 3-2.

On Monday at Fort Totten it was more of the same for Purcell and the Terriers, who outplayed the Friars in the first half but still lost 3-0.

“We dominated them in the first half and they got one fluke goal,” Purcell said. “We’re better than them, though. We’ll beat them.”

Purcell, a senior defender, may still have one more chance to get that win as St. Francis Prep (6-2-2) could face St. Anthony’s again during the playoffs.

If the Terriers get that chance, coach John Jenkins hopes his team can cut down on some mistakes which proved costly Monday.

“We know we have work to do to prepare for them again, hopefully,” Jenkins said. “Basically, you have to put them away early or else they will capitalize on the slightest mistake you make.”

St. Francis Prep had those chances early, but the Terriers struggled and missed the target. In the sixth minute Christine Lettieri played a great ball to Kaitlin Kostel but her low shot from 16 yards out was wide of the far post.

Despite spending much of the first half defending, St. Anthony’s (12-1-1, 10-1-1) took a 1-0 lead on a lightning-quick counter attack that saw Erica Cisek beat St. Francis Prep keeper Christina Aquilon to the ball and chip it into the open net from 15 yards out in the 17th minute.

Jacklyn James had a great opportunity to tie the game when she one-timed Purcell’s corner kick from 10 yards out, but the ball sailed wide of the net in the 21st minute. In the 26th minute, Purcell’s shot from 25 yards out was stopped by St. Anthony’s keeper Kristen Short. The rebound rolled to Lettieri, but the Terriers senior was also stopped by Short, who made a diving save at the near post.

“It’s rough, but I still know we’re the better team,” Lettieri said. “If we get the last chance, I know we’ll beat them. Skill-wise, we’re a better team.”

The Terriers, who played without starting forward Simone Canfarotta, who aggravated a back injury in a scoreless draw with Sacred Heart Friday, slightly strayed from the game plan of working the ball up the wings and using their speed against the Friars fullbacks and instead played to the middle of the field, St. Anthony’s strength.

The result was a number of turnovers in the midfield which led to quick counter attack chances by St. Anthony’s speedy forwards.

On one such chance, in the 65th minute, St. Anthony’s put the game away when Bristyn Davis won the ball in midfield and played a great through ball to Jillian Maggiocomo, who collided with Aquilon, who came off her line, and then slotted the ball into the open net from 10 yards out to put the Friars ahead, 2-0.

“We have a lot of speed and a lot of different players to pass to,” Davis said. “We have really fast people up front.”

After a hand ball in the box, Marisa Maltese capped the scoring in the 80th minute when she followed her penalty shot that deflected off Aquilon’s hands and off the post and tapped in the rebound.

“They make you panic on defense and it throws you off your offense. They take you out of your game,” Jenkins said. “When they get the ball, they’re capable of getting the ball down field so fast. They play well with the lead.”

Sacred Heart 1, Archbishop Molloy 0. The Stanners lost a heartbreaker Monday when they were victimized by an own goal with 20 minutes left in a scoreless game. Sacred Heart improved to 8-3-1 while Molloy, who had spectacular goaltending by Jackie Kimball, falls to 1-8.

“Sacred Heart is a superior team but we were in it every step of the way,” said Molloy coach Mike McGuire. “We’ve made great strides for the program.”

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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