The Sacred Heart girls soccer team stopped a Summit Christian Academy rally and beat the Eagles 4-2 Tuesday at Clover Dell Park.
The Gremlins led 3-0 until a pair of Eagles goals in the second half, but SCA never had a quality look at an equalizer and Sacred Heart scored an insurance goal a few minutes later.
A strong wind through much of the first half also caused Sacred Heart some problems. Goal kicks didn’t carry quite as far and the Gremlins had trouble clearing.
“At first the wind was cross-field so we weren’t worried,” said Gremlins forward Morgan Bogue. “It came to our advantage the second half. In the first half, we kept running away from the ball when the wind was blowing against us, but I think we adjusted pretty well and played the wind to our advantage the second half.”
Bogue opened the scoring early in the game, taking a long pass from Honor Kehde and racing in on the keeper for the game’s first goal in the second minute.
“We made eye contact and I made a diagonal run, and she played the ball through,” Bogue said. “I had to beat one defender and I just put it in the corner.”
Kehde, who played mostly at the back last season, is playing midfield this year.
“We have a little bit more leeway this year,” said Sacred Heart coach Travis Cooper. “We had some other kids step in and move Honor into a different role.”
Cooper is moving the Gremlins to the same style of possession-based play he used with Sacred Heart’s boys team in the fall.
“They’re doing a really good job of changing into the system, and we just kept possession of the ball,” Cooper said. “Looking for our opportunities to move into the crease and finish those one-on-ones against the keeper.”
SCA kept the young Gremlins back line of Gabby Holland, Sydney Bogue, Hannah Thomas and Shelby Bain under pressure in the first half.
“We’re starting two freshmen, a sophomore and junior back there, so with that lineup there’s a little bit of inexperience,” Cooper said. “The second half looked a lot better than the first. We expect a few hiccups with them, but I look for them to gel.”
After Sacred Heart opened the scoring, SCA kept the ball in the Gremlins end for much of the next 15 minutes, but the Sacred Heart back line and keeper Isabelle Wilhelm turned away several chances.
Morgan Bogue added another goal in the 18th minute, chipping the ball over the keeper’s head to make it 2-0.
“Morgan’s a threat just about anywhere we put her on the field,” Cooper said. “She’s got great foot skills and great speed. We look for her to slide into those open creases and look for the over ball. But there again, there’s times she’ll play the ball outside and look to slip the ball into somebody.”
Sacred Heart added a third in the 46th minute. Lauron Tanguay’s shot from 20 yards out glanced off the keeper’s hands and into the goal.
The Gremlins had several second-half chances to add to the lead even further, but crosses from Tanguay and Morgan Bogue were too close to the keeper and were easily collected with no Gremlin getting on the end of them.
SCA answered with a pair of goals within minutes of each other. In the 61st minute, Rachel Bacon chipped the ball past Wilhelm to put the Eagles on the board. Moments later, a handball in the penalty area led to a Madison Sallas goal to make it 3-2.
But the Gremlins pushed to extend the lead. After chances from Tanguay and Morgan Bogue went wide, Kehde chipped the ball over the keeper’s head to make it 4-2 in the 71st minute.
Sacred Heart (2-0) will visit Father Tolton on Thursdayin Columbia.