The Shattuck-St. Mary’s U16 girls soccer team scored early and often in their final tune-up before the showcase season begins this coming weekend, handing Hudson United a 5-1 loss behind Freshman Nina LeFlore’s first career hat-trick.
Playing their last home game of the fall season on Parade Field, a site where the 16s have been undefeated so far this fall season, the Sabres wasted little time in making sure that Sunday would not be the day that streak ended. In the 11th minute, LeFlore collected a brilliantly pinged diagonal ball from Hannah Melchiorre, juked her defender, and scored her first goal with the U16s this year. The freshman has a number of tallies already on her stat sheet from her time playing with the U17s, but Sunday marked the first goal of her U16 campaign. Only eight minutes later, she found her second. Following a corner kick that Hudson was unable to cleanly clear, Halie Reznik unleashed a powerful blast that beat the outstretched hands of the keeper, only to hit the underside of the crossbar and fall away from goal. Leflore read the play perfectly however, and tucked in the rebound for a 2-0 advantage. At the 35-minute mark sophomore Catherine Seying made it 3-0, rifling a hard shot past a diving Hudson goalkeeper after Frankie Blevins had picked a defender’s pocket and slotted Seying in. The goal was her third in Shattuck colors.
The second half saw more extended bouts of possession from Shattuck, with several quality combinations leading to numerous goal-scoring chances. Melchiorre scored one of her own in the 48th minute, calmly slotting a left-footed effort far post after some good Shattuck buildup along the left flank. Finally in minute 55, LeFlore broke through for her first career Shattuck hat-trick, finishing off one of her patented jaunts down the right sideline and inside cut with a low effort the goalkeeper could not deal with. “I won’t lie, I really wanted that third goal,” said LeFlore after the game. “It’s not as though scoring goals is always the most important thing for me….sometimes I make plays that set others up and that’s great too. But with two goals in the first half of this game, scoring that third one felt great.”
The U16s will kick off their showcase season this coming weekend in St. Louis, MO at the SLSG Fall Classic and College Showcase. The team is matched up against competition from some of the Midwest’s best clubs, and will take on teams from Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin at the event. The following weekend they will travel to Brookfield, WI for their final two Midwest Regional League games of the fall season.