The St. Luke’s Girls Varsity Soccer team bounced back from a tough loss to Sacred Heart on Monday, September 23, to record two wins in four days.
The Storm produced a dominant display at home on Saturday, September 28, against Wooster School, with a 6-1 win. Three days later, on Tuesday, October 1, they edged out a tight 2-1 win at Rye Country Day School.
In the comfortable victory against the Generals, Aidan Panian ‘23 opened the scoring early in the first half after a decisive through ball from Layla Magnusen ‘22. Magnusen then got on the scoresheet herself, before Sarah Lau ‘24 made it 3-0 with her first goal for GVS. Macy Owsley ‘22 scored with a fine finish to make it 4-0 to St. Luke’s at halftime. Natalie Owsley ‘23 added the fifth just after the break, and Lea Panagiotidis ‘20 rounded things off for the Storm by scoring to make it 6-0. Wooster added a consolation goal late in the second period.
In a much more even matchup against Rye Country Day, St. Luke’s improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in FAA play, securing the victory courtesy of a spectacular finish from captain Julia Lombardo ‘21. Caroline Lau ‘23 gave St. Luke’s a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute of the match, but the visitors couldn’t add to their advantage, despite dominating the first half. They were almost made to pay as the Wildcats scrambled one home in the 45th minute, but Lombardo replied almost immediately. The junior midfielder picked up the ball 25-yards from goal, beat a couple of defenders, and then hit an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner.
St. Luke’s should have been awarded a penalty kick a few minutes later when Panian was taken out inside the box, but the referee waved play on. That made for a nervous last 20 minutes, but the Storm dug deep to take an important road victory.
Head Coach Dan Clarke was pleased with the way his team battled throughout: “I don’t think we played our best soccer today, but we found a way to win. I thought we should have done more in the first half to make the game more comfortable, but credit to the girls for how they responded to conceding the goal. They worked extremely hard in the last 20 minutes to make sure we came away with the result.”
On Lombardo’s strike, Clarke added: “We needed a lift and Julia gave us that almost immediately with a tremendous goal. I don’t think you will see a much better strike this season.”
St. Luke’s Girls Varsity Soccer has another road game at Hamden Hall on Thursday, October 10, before its homecoming match against Holy Child School on Saturday, October 12.