MILLTOWN — The Ursuline soccer team gave Saint Mark’s its closest contest of 2021 when the teams met on April 13. The Spartans eked out a 1-0 win that afternoon at Serviam Field. The rematch on May 12 under the lights at the Graveyard at Saint Mark’s was also close through the first 50 minutes. But the Spartans exploded for three goals in four minutes on the way to a 6-2 Senior Night win.
Spartans senior Alyssa Ruggeri had herself quite an evening, finishing with three goals and assisting on the other three. Teammate Maddie Schepers scored one of her own and assisted on two others.
Ruggeri gave her team a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, and that was the only goal – though not the only chance — of the first half. She struck again shortly after halftime, taking a pass in the 44th and blasting a shot that got through Raiders goalkeeper Julia Terzaghi for the 2-0 lead,
The Raiders went on the offensive. They earned a corner kick in the 45th minute, and they capitalized. The inbounds pass was sent high into the 18-yard box, where about a dozen players and Spartans keeper Marissa Cirillo were jockeying for position. The ball found its way to Julie Copeman, who knocked it high into the net to get Ursuline on the board. Samantha Hurd got the assist.
Saint Mark’s seemed energized by the challenge. The Spartans immediately sent a shot wide, and they earned a corner, although they did not convert. A few minutes later, in the 47th, they took another corner. This time, Ruggeri’s shot went off the hands of Terzaghi, and Hailey Short was there to smack the rebound into the net.
A minute later, Ruggeri got her hat trick. This time, she dribbled through the Raiders’ defense and sent a left-footed shot into the lower far-right corner to make it 4-1. In the 50th, Saint Mark’s was on the attack once more. Schepers took a through ball from Ruggeri and sent a shot to the other corner of the net.
Both teams nearly hit on free kicks as the game wore on, but there was no more scoring until the 65th minute. This time, after a long Spartans possession, they worked the ball in deep to Kate Lennon, and she scored the team’s sixth goal. Ursuline had multiple chances as the minutes went on, and with time running short, Anna Querey sent a 15-yard rocket top shelf to complete the scoring. The assist went to Sophia Filipowski.
Seniors from both teams were honored before the game, which featured a small but boisterous student section that was happy to cheer on the state’s last remaining unbeaten. The game started in bright sunshine and moderate temperatures, but by the time it finished, the stadium lights had taken full effect, and hoodies and blankets were in demand.
The Spartans outshot the Raiders, 17-11, although Ursuline had a 2-1 edge in corner kicks. Cirillo had eight saves. The Spartans (14-0) finish the regular season on Friday afternoon at Archmere. The game is scheduled for 3:45.
Terzaghi finished with 10 saves for Ursuline. The Raiders (9-5) close out the regular season on Friday at Mount Pleasant at 3:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.