Rams shake slow start to beat Patriots in NEC clash

Classical's Julia Jordan (right) scored the first goal of the game Monday night in a 3-1 win. (Item File Photo)

LYNN — It took the Classical girls soccer team a while to get going Monday night against Revere but a three-goal second half propelled the Rams to a 3-1 win at Manning Field. Seniors Julia Jordan and Abby Ierardi, and junior Izzy McGaughey each scored once for Classical. Jordan also tallied two assists, while Fatima Girdia dished one assist.

“I have to give Revere credit,” Classical coach Mark Ierardi said. “They’re a lot better than we expected they’d be. We got off to a real sluggish start. Similar to the East Boston game (4-0 Rams win last week), once we started moving the ball instead of trying to move through people, when we play like that good things start to happen.”

Freshman goalie Anna Flaherty gave Classical a solid performance in net.

The first half belonged to both goalies — Classical’s Flaherty and Revere’s Camila Perez. Both were stellar in net throughout the first 40 minutes of play. Flaherty made a highlight-reel save 12 minutes into the game, keeping the contest scoreless.

“If they pop that in, they’re up 1-0,” Ierardi said. “Now they’re playing the game where every time they get the ball, they throw it out of bounds. I was proud of the girls because we didn’t start out well. This could’ve been a trap game for us but we overcame it and played much better in the second half.”

“If that goes in that changes the entire game,” Classical assistant coach Greg Ierardi said. “That was one of the best saves I’ve ever seen.”

Perez matched Flaherty’s performance and made six saves in the first half. At recess, the two teams were knotted in a scoreless tie.

“You can’t go into these games based on last year,” Classical assistant coach Greg Ierardi said. “Last year, we handled them fairly easily. You have to prepare. It’s like the old cliche, ‘any given Sunday.’ It was a good wake up call. You can’t start slow against anybody.”

It didn’t take long for the Rams to break the scoreless tie in the second half. Just four minutes into the period, Jordan found space in the net and scored the game’s first goal to put Classical ahead 1-0. Revere drew a free kick five minutes later but Doaa Halty’s shot was saved by Flaherty.

McGaughey padded the Rams’ lead to 2-0 with a goal 15 minutes later. Chasing two goals, the Patriots refused to quit. Halty tipped one past Flaherty with 8:04 remaining to put Revere on the board, down 2-1. Ierardi ripped a shot into the back of the net with 6:05 to play, sealing Classical’s 3-1 win.

“We tweaked the lineup a little bit, changed a few combinations,” Ierardi said. “I think that’s what really got us going. We altered the combinations a little bit. We stayed the course. We stayed true to what we’ve been preaching. Our skills coach, Kelleigh Lombard, since last year she’s been preaching good possessions, good touches, don’t just dump it in, be smart with the ball.”

The Rams resume play Thursday night (7) at Salem- Classical’s first road game of the young season.

“Salem’s going to be tough,” Ierardi said. “We didn’t beat them at all last year so that’s going to be a good test.”

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