CARBONDALE — After being rained out for two years, the 21st annual Carbondale girls soccer Fralish Cup got off without a hitch.
The last time the tournament was played in 2016, Waterloo won its second straight title with the host team Carbondale second, Cape Notre Dame third and Farmington fourth.
This year the first day of the two-day tournament saw Cape Notre Dame beating Carterville-Herrin, 9-0, Sikeston beating Anna-Jonesboro, 7-0, three-time champion Carbondale (2001, 2008, 2012) beat Massac County, 5-0, on two goals by Sage Nelsen, two goals by Jena Al-Emad and a goal by Anna Schurz and Marion beating Harrisburg, 9-0.
“Our goal tonight was to play team defense and keep the ball on our side,” said Marion coach Jaime Clark Verbeck. “We wanted to make the field big, so we could possess in the middle. They definitely were communicating and that helped our offense to click. You could hear them talking and telling them where to go the whole first half.”
Marion (10-2) scored all nine goals in the first half and the Wildcat defense held the Bulldogs without a shot in front of three goalkeepers. The starting goalkeeper was junior Maddy Goodley and left the nets with 23 minutes left in the first half with Marion leading 3-0.
Freshman Lily Garrett scored the first goal of the game at the 5:58 mark off a corner kick by Ana Cuartas.
“It was crazy,” Garrett said. “It was off a corner, and after it was deflected off one of their defenders, I just poked it right in through the goalie's legs.”
Two minutes and 22 seconds, later Nicole Szidik scored from Alexis Basi and Marissa Basi, and one minute and 36 seconds later, Blake Clark scored after receiving a pass from the right side from Szidik.
At that point, Goodley left the net and sophomore Kamryn Madinger took over as Goodley shed her goalie duds and put on her field uniform with the number 28.
Almost immediately the Wildcats were on the attack again, with Margaux Bruce stealing a clearing pass from the Bulldog goalkeeper and barely missing a goal when the freshman hit the right post. Just 15 seconds later, Bruce set up Clark for her second goal.
It took just a minute and a half for Marissa Basi to score on a penalty kick after she was knocked down on a run inside the 18, and then 1:29 later, Bruce found the inside of the post to up the lead to 6-0 on a great passing play by Szidik and the goalkeeper Madinger.
Almost a minute later, Addi Wall hit the left post. Six minutes went by before Garrett set up Bruce for her second goal with 13:12 remaining in the first 35 minutes.
With 7:29 left, Clark scored her third goal and team-leading 28th of the season on a rebound in front of the net following a corner kick.
“Off the corner kick it bounced out and I scored off the bounce,” Clark said. “I’ve had just about three or four goals off rebounds because getting a good shot off that bounce is difficult getting the timing right.”
With 6:45 remaining Goodley, who was now playing in the field, hit the crossbar, but with one second left Goodley found the back of the net.
“It was a corner kick and I was in the back getting the junk shots,” Goodley said. “I saw it go over our midfielders, so I came in and kicked it right in. When I hit the crossbar I was just trying to get the ball over the keeper because she didn’t have very good hands, but it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.”
Saturday the action opens at 10 a.m., with Anna-Jonesboro playing Harrisburg on the new turf on Frank Bleyer Field and Carterville-Herrin taking on Massac County on the Fralish Soccer Complex field.
At 11:30 a.m., Marion will play Sikeston at Frank Bleyer Field and Cape Notre Dame will play Carbondale on the Fralish Field.
“We haven’t played Sikeston this year, but we have them on the schedule in 10 days,” Verbeck said. “We played them last year and beat them 1-0 on a corner kick. So it will be good to have another rematch.”
The championship games start at 2 p.m., with the seventh place game at Frank Bleyer Field and the consolation championship on the Fralish Field followed by the third place game on Frank Bleyer Field. The championship game is being played on the Fralish Field.