St. Vincent girls soccer coach Todd Strattman was at a lost for words.
The Indians scored early and hung on late in a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame-St. Louis in the Class 3, District 1 title game at Windsor High School on Saturday. The victory sealed St. Vincent’s second Class 3 district title in the last three seasons.
“I thought we played great,” Strattman said. “The girls did exactly what we asked of them and they have all year to get to this point. I don’t know what else to say.”
The season for St. Vincent (16-4) has been a flurry of successes as the young team has won eight of the last nine games since a pair of losses to Windsor and Cape-Notre Dame in mid-April.
Through all those victories, Strattman did not get look too far ahead.
“I thought we could win this game at about 3:30 this morning when I woke up,” he said.
St. Vincent scored three first-half goals, and the Indians looked primed to cruise to a victory, but the Rebels made a charge.
The Rebels were called offsides on a pass that would have set up a breakaway. That was just a precursor of things to come as Anna Pagano scored on a free kick from right outside the 18-yard box to narrow the margin to 3-1. Notre Dame-St. Louis kept the pressure on for the rest of the half with a shot that was wide right in the 70th minute, and nearly scored another time with about five minutes left in regulation.
The Rebels broke through on another free kick with a goal from Greta Kohnz to bring Notre Dame closer at 3-2 with 1:18 left. The Rebels made one last gasp effort, but called for offsides with 50 seconds left, on what would have set up a certain breakaway and the Indians were able to clear the ball and defend for the remainder of the game.
“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves,” Strattman said. “But we knew Notre Dame would make a run on us, I’m just glad we scored enough in the first half.”
The Indians did just that.
After a goal for Notre Dame was taken off the board in the sixth minute on an infraction in the box, the Indians took charge.
St. Vincent hit the cross bar in the 19th minute, but broke through in the 21st minute on the first of two goals for Lana Adams. She also added an assist.
“It was great to set the tone of the game with that first goal,” Strattman said. “Once we got that first one I thought we settled into the game.”
From there the Indians were able to score a pair of goals within two minutes.
Adams led Haley Emmendorfer with a nice pass that led to a breakaway and Emmendorfer was able to put a shot past the Rebel goalie. Adams scored shortly after on a corner kick on a pass from Cailyn Prost to go ahead 3-0 with seven minutes left in the first half.