Lady Saints prep for stretch run

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dribbling: Nansemond-Suffolk junior Meredith Deluca dribbles during the second half of NSA’s 6-0 win over Cape Hatteras on Wednesday. Deluca is NSA’s starting goalkeeper and played in goal until getting to play midfield for the last 15 minutes of Wednesday’s match. The Lady Saints improved to 8-4 with the win.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls soccer team took advantage of its last non-conference match of the regular season on Wednesday, tuning up for a busy and competitive next couple weeks with a 6-0 victory over Cape Hatteras High School (N.C.).

The Lady Saints (8-4) kept nearly the whole match inside their attacking half of the field. The outcome was decided after three NSA goals in the first eight minutes of play.

Freshman Emily Leverone booted a shot from the top of the penalty box low and just inside the left post 1:10 into the match for a 1-0 lead. Freshman Darcy King did practically the same, a little off to the left of Leverone’s spot, 2:33 in for a 2-0 lead.

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Camila Holm, a junior exchange student from Denmark who’s spending the school year at NSA, scored off an assist by Leverone to make it 3-0.

NSA picked up the scoring pace again to open the second half. Less than two minutes into the half, Leverone clanged a long drive off the crossbar, as she hit a post three times in the match, and King finished the play in the box with a right-footed shot curling over the goalie but inside the far post and crossbar.

King’s two goals and Leverone’s goal give the freshmen 15 and eight respectively for the season.

Hannah Starkey scored, connecting with a shot from near the top of the box, with Morgan Davis getting the assist, to make it 5-0.

Holm scored her second goal, dribbling in from well out on the right side and getting all the way to the six-yard box before stretching and poking the ball into the net.

NSA head coach Sue Starkey thinks her team, already having one of the best seasons in recent years for NSA girls soccer, is getting sharper at the best time of the season. The Lady Saints face seven conference matches, a challenge in quality and quantity, in the next two weeks.

In past seasons, being competitive and winning a match or two to make the conference tournament were the stepping stones for the Lady Saints. This season, the Lady Saints have started Tidewater Conference play 2-0 and are ranked No. 9 in the state in Virginia Independent Schools, Division I.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) will be a big one. Seeing where we are versus Norfolk Christian will be a real determiner,” Starkey said.

“We’ll need to keep focused and keep working on improving in the middle of the field, but we’re definitely getting there,” Starkey said.

The Lady Saints host Norfolk Christian today at 4:30 p.m. After the Easter holiday, NSA, partially thanks to earlier rainouts, has three conference matches in three days, Wednesday at Hampton Roads, Thursday versus Norfolk Collegiate and Friday at Walsingham.