LYNN– Classical girls soccer striker Fatima Girdia scored three goals to propel the Rams past English in a 4-1 win in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament at Manning Field Tuesday night.
The Rams were maintained possession for the majority of the game and also got a goal on a penalty kick from Hannah Guthrie.
“We are very happy to get our first win here tonight,” Classical coach Mark Ierardi said. “A great game by Fatima with the hat trick. I thought early in the game we struggled to find our offense but we changed a few things up formation-wise and started to click.
“We changed formation to have a little bit more depth in the middle of the field and I thought our passing was terrific tonight,” Ierardi added.
A young English team had trouble finding scoring chances but was kept in the game by forward Katelyn Bowden, who started the game at goaltender.
“I thought we played a really good game,” English coach Ed McNeil said. “We’re very inexperienced, we had four freshmen play a lot tonight and we didn’t have a goalie ready at game time.
“Katelyn volunteered at goalie and only gave up three goals,” McNeil added. “I thought she played great and then Jenny Matul came in as the second goalie and she played great as well.”
The Bulldogs lone goal came from Melissa Zayas in the second half.
“Melissa got our only goal and she’s going to be a force for us, she’s a really good player,” McNeil said. “I thought our defense with Arianna Garcia at sweeper, Brooke Zahine, and Dayanna Gamboni played really well for us as well.”
“This is a Classical team people are expecting to do big things this year and I thought we held our own.”
Classical’s first goal came with 11:31 remaining in the first half. Guthrie drew a penalty kick after being tripped up by an English defender and fired a shot to the right past Bowden to put the Rams up 1-0.
Girdia extended the lead with her first goal that bounced off Bowden’s hands and into the net to give Classical a 2-0 lead with 31:30 remaining.
English responded less than 30 seconds later with a goal of its own. Zayas sent a shot straight off the top crossbar but corralled the rebound to finish the goal and cut the lead to 2-1.
Girdia added her second goal soon after to put the Rams up 3-1 with 29:43 remaining in the game.
With 7 minutes remaining English found another scoring chance off a corner kick from Elysse Newson. English had several scoring chances on the play, including one blocked shot by a Classical defender and another shot off the crossbar, but couldn’t capitalize.
The Rams put the game out of hand when Julia Jordan set up Girdia perfectly in front of the net for her third goal of the night.
Classical will now play St. Mary’s in the tournament’s championship game Saturday (1) at Manning Field.
“Obviously they have dominated this tournament for years,” Ierardi said of St. Mary’s. “We played them last year close, 2-1, so hopefully this year we can do just that plus a lot more and come out on top. We know we have to prepare our best for that.”