CARBONDALE — Marion fell behind 1-0 on a penalty kick, but a goal by Blake Clark and two goals by Nicole Szidik propelled the Wildcats to a 3-1 win over South Seven rival Carbondale for its record tying 17th win on the Terriers Senior Night at the Fralish Soccer Complex on Tuesday.
“We were pretty eager on our shots and started taking them pretty early, so we didn’t finish as well as we normally do,” said Marion coach Jaime Clark Verbeck. “I thought their goalkeeper did a very nice job, but once we took time to combine and make our field bigger and take the one more pass to get the better shots on goal.”
Marion improved to 17-6 to tie last year’s team that finished 17-5-3, the 2013-14 team that finished 17-5 and the 2012-13 team that finished 17-3. Marion also improved to 5-1 in the conference while Carbondale dropped to 7-17 and 3-4 in the conference.
“This is the first time since I’ve been coach we’ve beat Carbondale twice in one season and that was one of the goals we had before the season,” Verbeck said. “Now we want to go out tomorrow and break that record at Carterville and build on it and see if we can set a record that will last a while.”
Anna Schurz gave the Terriers the early lead with her team-leading 15th goal of the season on a penalty kick at the 13.07 mark of the first half.
“I feel like we got lucky on that call in the first place and Anna tucked it in,” said Carbondale coach Ortez Davis. “I felt that call could have went either way. We got to be able to weather the storm of Marion’s offensive capabilities. When they get going or if you give them space they can break you down very easily. They got midfielders who can spread the ball and find Blake, who has great speed going forward. They have Marissa Basi, who’s facilitating in the middle as well. They are very good at moving the ball around and finding each other.”
Marion tied the game 4:03 later when Clark and Margaux Bruce executed a perfect give-and-go for Clark’s 47th goal of the season.
Six minutes and 47 seconds later, Bruce set up Szidik for her first goal of the game and the eventual game-winner to take a 2-1 lead in halftime.
“I got a pass back and then took on some people,” Szidik said. “I then had an out-wide shot from a little bit outside the 18 and just curved it in. I’ve had a hurt groin for most of the season, so I’ve been shooting with my left foot and finally it’s healing a little bit. The first goal was from my left and the second one was from my right.”
Just 2:43 into the second half, Szidik scored her second goal off a great pass from Basi.
Carbondale goalkeeper Ella Summerlin made seven saves in the game. The best came with 19:55 remaining in the second half when the sophomore had to cross the entire net from right to left to knock down a sure goal off a crossing pass.