Lady Saints rebound for 3-0 win

Published 10:56 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

One day after a season-opening 3-0 loss at Norfolk Collegiate, Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls soccer team turned in a 3-0 victory over visiting Cape Hatteras.

With the sun shining and afternoon temperature in the high 40s, it was chilly on Friday at NSA, but infinitely better than Thursday’s match in Norfolk.

The Oaks and Saints played through sleet and rain. To make matters worse, when the Saints departed NSA on Thursday, it was about 75 degrees and all of head coach Sue Starkey’s players were equipped with nothing but regular short-sleeve jerseys for what turned into brutally cold weather.

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On Friday afternoon, NSA controlled most of the match and piled up a 26-4 shot advantage against the Hurricanes but it took more than 60 minutes for NSA’s advantage to turn into a goal.

In the 61st minute, the Saints were again moving in on the Cape Hatteras penalty box and Mary Pedigo raced in on the dribble from her left forward position. Pedigo sent a narrow-angle shot on goal, which was initially stopped, but then bobbled by the Hurricane goalie. Andrea Beale was quick to the rebound and tipped it just enough to roll the ball over the goal line.

Now with the well-deserved lead, it took less than a minute for the Saints to strike again.

On basically NSA’s first possession after the goal, Jenna Starkey, NSA’s senior center forward and overall playmaker, led a break toward the top of the Cape Hatteras box. Starkey passed to her left, for Pedigo moving into the same spot as a few seconds earlier. Pedigo sent a low pass across the goal and Beale was a couple yards from the right post to finish the goal.

Starkey finished NSA’s scoring with a goal in the 79th minute. Grace Saunders made two saves for the shutout.

In the first half, NSA had the most possession and attacking play, but both teams came close to goals.

NSA’s best chance came in the 13th minute after a free kick taken by Starkey from the left wing, about 30 yards from goal. Starkey’s kick went into the box, then deflected out toward Lauren Hoy. Hoy powered a 25-yard strike which hit hard off the crossbar then Beale volleyed the rebound back toward goal, but Beale’s shot was saved.

Cape Hatteras tested Saunders with a free kick eight minutes later, but Saunders came up with a lunging catch to her right.

The weather through the past week not only made Thursday’s match a challenge for the Saints, but it’s also cost NSA’s team practice time. Starkey said her team had one outdoor practice before Thursday’s match.

“They responded well today and I’m tickled about that more than anything,” said Starkey.

NSA (1-1) still won’t have much time to practice before its next match, on Monday at 4:30 p.m. against visiting Alliance Christian.