The Shattuck-St. Mary’s U16 girls soccer team, the newest and youngest addition to the SSM Girls Soccer program, traveled to Rockford, IL to compete in their first weekend of competitive matches this past weekend. On Friday night, the 16s squared off against Strike FC from Milwaukee, WI. In their first ever competitive game, the Sabres put on an attacking display as if they were in midseason form. In the 29th minute, Catherine Seying collected the ball along the right flank, cut inside, and looped a shot over the keeper’s reach to give the U16s the first goal in their short history.
“I feel so lucky to be on this team of great girls, and great coaches,” said Seying. “To score the first goal of the season only makes the experience I have had so far even better.” Only three minutes later, Halie Reznik opened her goal account for the season after some nice combination play with Hannah Melchiorre. Melchiorre got one of her own early in the second half before Strike FC got one back to make the score 3-1. Thankfully for the Sabres, Reznik added her second and Ashley Kemmet her first of the season within five minutes of each other midway through the second half to effectively put the game away. Despite two late goals from Strike, Shattuck claimed their first victory of the Midwest Developmental League season by a final score of 5-3.
Saturday proved to be a more difficult test for the young Sabres, as they squared off against the Michigan Burn. The game got off to a fast start for both teams, as Shattuck had their first good chance inside of 60 seconds. Unfortunately, the Burn created a chance of their own off a well-placed ball over the top, and the Sabres found themselves down 0-1 less than 5 minutes in. While both teams created chances for the remainder of the half, the Sabres found themselves down 0-3 at halftime.
“Had we converted that goal in the first minute, the game’s complexion would have completely changed,” said U16 head coach Sue Vodicka. “We were unlucky to not get the early lead, and unfortunate to be down 0-3 at halftime. We knew this was a team we could play with.” In the second half the girls did just that, as they gave up no additional goals, while creating a few chances of their own. Hannah Melchiorre had the best chance for the Sabres, a breakaway that the Burn goalkeeper was just able to parry wide for a corner kick. With a final score of 0-3, the U16s ended the weekend with one win and one loss and in the middle of the MRL First Division Blue standings.
The U16s will return to Rockford again this coming weekend for three more MRL matches before getting a weekend off the following weekend.