BEAR — The referee looked at his watch a few times down the stretch as Caravel and Ursuline battled in the season-opening soccer match March 22. After nearly 80 minutes of play, neither team had managed a goal, and overtime seemed likely.
But an Ursuline throw-in deep in its own defensive territory was intercepted by the Buccaneers’ Olivia Csapo. She sent the ball toward the goal, but it deflected off a Raiders defender and rolled toward the end line. Players from both teams converged on the ball, and Caravel’s Alaina Alston was able to send a sharp-angled shot past Ursuline goalkeeper Julia Terzaghi and into the net, giving the Bucs a 1-0 victory at Bob Peoples Stadium.
The Raiders had time to put the ball in play after the goal, but the whistle blew three times about 10 seconds later, signaling the end of the game.
The Buccaneers, the defending Division II state champions, came out and controlled the play at the beginning of each 40-minute half. In the first, they forced Terzaghi to make a save on a free kick from 32 yards out in the 18th minute, and shortly thereafter, Terzaghi snared a Bucs pass out of the air. Then, in the 22nd, a Caravel free kick was deflected over the end line.
Ursuline’s best opportunity in the first half came in the 33rd minute. A Bucs player was called for a foul about 17 yards out, but the infraction took place just wide of the 18-yard box. The free kick by Margaret Macauley was tipped in close, but Buccaneers keeper Riley Pinato fell on the loose ball. Macauley had another free kick before the half ended, but Pinato made the save.
Caravel went on the offensive to open the second half, and they nearly scored in the 58th minute, but a free kick hit Terzaghi in the knee and was cleared. The Raiders, who reached the Division II quarterfinals last year, did a good job on defense keeping the Bucs from getting open looks at the goal, and they were able to get to several loose balls for their own chances, although the Raiders managed just two shots on goal for the contest.
Terzaghi came up with two saves in the closing minutes, but the Bucs took advantage of that final chance to escape with a win.
Caravel finished with a 7-2 edge in shots. Neither team earned a corner kick. The Bucs (1-0) travel to Newark Charter on Thursday for a 3:45 p.m. start.
Terzaghi had six saves for Ursuline, who fell to 0-1. The Raiders play their home opener on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. against Concord.
All photos by Mike Lang.