By Barry Faulkner
12:44 AM PDT, June 1, 2014
The fifth- and sixth-grade girls' soccer team from St. John the Baptist School's 3-0 pool-play win over Victoria Elementary on Saturday wasn't enough for it to advance into the Daily Pilot Cup silver division playoffs.
But for one member of the Irish, Saturday's game at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex had a lot to do with moving on.
Sixth-grader Maggie Moran played the afternoon contest with the emotion of having lost her dog Lilly, which was hit by a car and died Saturday morning.
Moran honored her dog's memory by scoring a goal, following in a shot by a teammate that had caromed off the crossbar to finalize the scoring in the 35th minute.
Moran said losing Lilly, a German Shepherd mix that she had for three years, made it difficult to play. And as she answered brief questions after the game, tears welled in her eyes, as her mother, standing nearby, wiped away tears that trickled from underneath her own sunglasses.
But Moran also said she had fun playing in the community tournament, in which the Irish finished 2-1, including a 1-0 win over Carden Hall and a 2-1 loss to St. Joachim.
The Irish dominated the Voyagers, posting a 21-2 advantage in shots, though Victoria, with just two players on its roster with any experience in organized soccer, improved during the contest and produced its lone quality scoring chance in the final moments.
Allison O'Heany, whose height, power and skill allowed her to consistently rocket the ball through the Victorian defense, opened the scoring in the fourth minute. She settled a corner kick from Sabrina Fedele directly in front of the goal and drove it into the net.
It was the third corner-kick assist of the tournament for Fedele, who previously initiated set-piece scores by Damarys Mondragon and Lilah Theis.
The Irish continued its barrage of shots the rest of the half (finishing with 14 shots at intermission).
Marie Santos knocked a driving shot into the net in the 18th minute to double the lead.
Swe Garzon was another offensive catalyst for St. John, which fired the majority of its shots wide of frame.
Barely challenged, Irish goalkeeper Emma Shillington made one save, while additional contributors for the Irish included Vanessa Armenta, Sarah Patin, Nhi Tran, Samantha Buley, Gretchen Hohenstein and Catherine Ross. Paulina Cortez played for St. John in previous tournament action.
Daysie Hernandez and Emily Melendez stood out for Victoria, for which first-half goalkeeper Lena Dela made five of her team's six saves. Hernandez and Melendez were responsible for the Voyagers' two goals in the tournament.
Hernandez had Victoria's only shot on net, driving a free kick toward the cage from about 25 yards out late in the second 25-minute half. But Shillington interrupted the shot's path before it could cross the goal line.
Rounding out the roster for Victoria Coach Suzanne Bucaro were Alex Armand, Gianniana Bauer, Celeste Dorantes, Ashley Frias, Skylynn Gonzalez, Emma Goodman, Mimi Hickok, Kenna Knickerbocker, Athena Nova, Marlene Rios, Kenia Rocha, Samantha Sanchez, Sydni Sanchez, Yuridia Zarate and Kaitlyn Melendez.
Irish Coach Charles Shillingham, who was assisted by his daughter Megan, said his girls were a pleasure to work with.
"These guys were awesome," Charles Shillingham said of his players, whose only chance to advance from pool play was to win by at least five goals and hope that St. Joachim lost its match on an adjacent field.