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Mary Louis works to overcome early season slump

Therese Boyle of Mary Louis heads the ball during the game against Christ the King. Photo by Ken Maldonado
TimesLedger Newspapers

The plight of the early soccer season for Mary Louis has been to find the scoring complements around star Therese Boyle.

“She is dying for that kid out in front of her to just put the ball on her foot and finish,” TMLA Coach Tom Bruen said.

Following a season opening loss to defending Catholic High School Activities Association Brooklyn/Queens champion Christ the King, it’s beginning to happen. Mary Louis has picked up quality wins over Preston and Fontbonne Hall and earned a tie with defending Archdiocesan champ St. Joseph Hill. Boyle had a hat trick against Preston, a score against Hill and assisted on Erica Ritter’s winners versus Fontbonne last week. Eva Scazzero and Tori Lynch have also tallied goals.

“I was so happy,” Boyle said of Ritter’s goal. “We have been struggling with crosses this season. We haven’t been finishing much so I was so happy Erica stepped up and finished.”

The Hilltoppers have tried to do it with two of their best offensive players sidelined with injuries. Center midfielder Victoria Scaparro is out with an ankle injury and pure forward Colette Craig is hopeful to be back late in the season after hurting her knee. Scaparro’s absence had forced Boyle to sink more into the midfield and not just be out in front attacking. Bruen said it’s also forced him to keep Rachel Spanpinato back more and help transition the ball from defense to offense.

The 1-0 win over Fontbonne, in a rematch of last year’s semifinal won by Mary Louis, puts TMLA in second place in Brooklyn/Queens. Bruen said he preferred the difficult schedule early, asking for the hardest teams first. Defender Regina Paskoff and midfielder Kim Myers have also been key to the early success.

“Every win is good especially against a rival team,” Ritter said of beating the Bonnies.

Continuing this success and showing more consistency in their play is what Bruen wants to see next. Even against Fontbonne, TMLA dominated the first half only to watch the Bonnies control play after the break with pressure and nearly tie the score multiple times.

“We are a little hot and cold right now,” Bruen said. “Some games we come out there and we are really sharp with good combination play. There are other times where I don’t even know you guys.”

One thing he does know is that Boyle will need to continue to get the scoring help she has received in recent games if the success is going to continue.

“Our offense is getting better at finishing,” Boyle said, “which is exactly what we needed.”

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