Geneva blanks Rosary to halt losing streak

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Instead of Rosary hoping for streak-extenders, host Geneva’s 2-0 nonconference girls soccer win Saturday produced a pair of streak-enders.

The Vikings improved their record to 4-6 thanks to a goal in each half in order to end a five-match losing skid.

Unfortunately for the visiting Royals (5-2-2), the loss put an end to their seven-match unbeaten run that began after a season-opening setback.

The role reversal was reflected offensively as well with Rosary entering the match averaging 4.5 goals over the previous six games, but getting blanked for the third time this year.

During one of Geneva’s many attacks, the third time was the charm after Royals goalie Lauren Frasca stopped one hard shot and rejected the initial rebound before the Vikings’ Maureen Kozlow tallied for the lead. That strike with 17:29 left before halftime was only Geneva’s second goal in six matches.

“We definitely needed this win because we’ve had so many tough matches,” said Geneva goalie Samantha Hauser, who posted her fourth shutout. “This should be a confidence booster for us because we know we’ve got all the pieces in place. Once we get everyone back healthy and are able to focus, we’re capable of putting together a win streak.”

Geneva’s offensive pressure continued early in the second half as Mary Landry put a shot off the far-right post six minutes in. Two minutes later, scoring leader Amanda Lulek had a header carom off the crossbar and back into play before Rosary’s defenders cleared the ball.

But with 27:43 remaining, Hope Goodman’s through-ball pass enabled Courtney Lardas to put a solid 12-yard left-footer inside the far-right post for a 2-0 cushion.

“It was a good pass that I was able to use to dribble past a defender and when I saw the keeper coming out, I just slid it to the other side,” Lardas said. “The last few outcomes have been really hard to accept so today we wanted to show we were capable of winning.”

The Viking backline also demonstrated its ability to put the clamps on Rosary scoring leader Quincy Kellett, who had 26 points (10 goals, six assists) over the last six outings. The Royals were limited to one shot on net out of six attempts while Geneva put 15 of its 23 attempts on net.

“A win is a win and we came out and got the job done even if we weren’t always efficient,” Geneva coach Megan Owens said. “I thought we passed the ball around well and our defenders did a solid job.

“We’ve had a tough stretch, so today’s focus in part was to get everyone some playing time and even with our subs, we created some offensive opportunities. Their keeper certainly had some nice saves.”

That was one aspect Rosary coach Kristy Kane could agree on.

“She’s always solid for us, even though she took a hit and will have a nice little scar to show off at school,” Kane said. “The first half (Geneva) won all the balls and demonstrated how good they are and how well they can pass the ball. Our girls appeared to be a little intimidated and even though we improved out play some in the second half, it clearly wasn’t enough today.”

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