St. Vincent girls soccer defuses Perryville offense

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 ~ Updated 12:50 AM
St. Vincent's Storm French scores the Indians' fifth goal Monday against Perryville in Perryville, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- St. Vincent's stinginess starts with the Indians' backfield and carries through to the forwards.

Stopping the opposition's attack is a team-wide prerogative.

"I think we have a really strong defense in the back," St. Vincent senior Megan Sutterer said. "If one person misses the ball, we always have another player back there to cover. Also our offense is always coming back to help us out."

The Indians limited Perryville to one goal, off a penalty kick in the closing minute, in their 5-1 victory for city bragging rights in girls soccer Monday.

"I think our team has a strong connection with each other," Sutterer said. "We just know each other is going to be there when we pass it. We talk to each other and we're always covering each other's back."

St. Vincent's Abby Lappe kicks the ball around Perryville's Emily Hanquist during the second half Monday in Perryville, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

St. Vincent has limited opponents to 12 goals this season. The Indians (17-2) have posted a shutout in 10 of their 19 games.

"We're always talking to each other on the field," St. Vincent goalkeeper Allison Ernst said. "We're always letting each other know where people are. Even if there is a goal, it's usually because of a miscommunication."

This is Ernst's first season starting on the varsity. She played on the junior varsity team last season and saw limited action with the varsity during the Indians' run to the Class 1 state title last season.

"Allison has worked her rear end off and she's done a nice job of being that solid last line of defense," St. Vincent coach Dustin Wengert said. "She's the one who points and directs everyone on the field. She's got 10 girls in front of her. She's like a catcher in baseball who gets your team in position to compete. She does a really nice job with it."

Kristin Mattingly, St. Vincent's senior sweeper, said the key to the Indians' defensive success is keeping the ball away from Ernst. Mattingly made a play with about seven minutes left in the second half that exemplified the strategy. The Pirates (12-5) were chasing a ball deep in St. Vincent's end and Mattingly was behind the play. But she used her superior speed to reach the ball first and clear it aside.

St. Vincent's Megan Sutterer, left, defends Perryville's Megan Moldenhauer.

"A lot of it is our speed," Mattingly said of St. Vincent's defensive success. "Then we play the ball outside a lot and try to get it out of the middle. We don't play with it in the back and dribble it around. We just try to pass it out right away."

When a team does get close to the St. Vincent goal, Ernst is there to shout directions and make sure there aren't any open players who could get off a clean shot.

"I get my heart pumping because I'm the last one out there," Ernst said. "I just let others know where some open players are. But then my defenders do also. They've always been there for me."

Perryville coach Stacie Sargent said that Kayla Seabaugh, St. Vincent's stopper, is the person who causes the most confusion for opposing teams.

"They throw you off balance by running their stopper, Kayla Seabaugh, through the middle," Sargent said. "When you have to focus on her, it throws you off a little bit."

St. Vincent's defense limited Perryville's chances Monday, but that didn't slow down the Indians' offensive attack. Sophomores Storm French and Abby Lappe continued to find the back of the net with regularity. Both players finished with two goals and an assist.

"We didn't contain French as well as we needed to most of the time, but I think we did contain the other side a little bit better," Sargent said. "We're not used to someone just putting their head down and going."

St. Vincent led 2-0 at halftime before Seabaugh assisted on Lappe's second goal about midway through the second half. Seabaugh added a goal of her own with just less than 12 minutes left.

"They come at you from really every spot on the field," Sargent said. "They are fortunate they have the skill level they had at a Class 1 school, and they use it very well. To have that skill level, you don't maybe always see that speed, but they have both."

Perryville's lone goal came when Morgan Franklin converted a penalty kick in the closing minute. The Indians were whistled for a hand ball in the box after a corner kick to set up the penalty kick.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: