The win was also a birthday present for Twin Valley assistant coach Robert Bolognani, who piloted the team while head coach Chris Walling was away for personal reasons.
His daughter, senior midfielder Jordyn Bolognani, led the Wildcats with two goals. She opened the scoring early in the game. Sadie Boyd added another goal, but Mount St. Joseph notched a score just before haltime.
After the break, Mount St. Joseph scored again, drawing the match even. But Bolognani delivered again, scoring the game winner midway through the half. Freshman Rita Messing added her first varsity goal to close out the scoring.
“I’m happy the kids pulled out a win,” said Walling on Thursday. “It was a good win and came at a time in need for team morale. It would have been a difficult game to lose. The team scored four goals. We haven’t done that all year.”
The win brought Twin Valley’s record to 2-3-1 on the season. They will have a difficult match ahead of them in the tournament finale on Friday, however. They face the host and top-ranked Arlington Eagles. The 7-0 Eagles are strong on both ends of the pitch, having scored 48 goals while surrendering only two. Five of their wins have been shutouts, and they have scored four or more goals in every match. The Eagles blanked the Long Trail School 6-0 in Tuesday’s other semifinal.
“It’s a tall task,” said Walling. “They have a boatload of scoring. They’re good, they’re clearly the top team in division 4. We’ll have a very tall task.”
The Wildcats play Arlington in the final game of the tournament Friday at 7 pm. Long Trail and MSJ will play the consolation match at 5 pm. Things won’t get any easier for Twin Valley. They host undefeated Green Mountain on Thursday, October 5. Game time is 6 pm.
L&G 4, TV 1
TOWNSHEND- When Twin Valley and Leland & Gray sports teams square off, there’s always a bit of rivalry at stake. Even though many of the athletes know each other, and some may have even played together on teams outside of their high schools, the competition level is always ratcheted up when the two schools meet.
Thursday’s girls’ varsity soccer match between the two schools was no exception. Even though the host Rebels topped the visiting Wildcats 4-1, the game was played with quite a bit of intensity on both sides of the ball. In the end, sophomore striker Ellie Longo was the difference maker for the Rebels. She notched three goals and constantly pressured the Wildcat defense.
Longo struck early, knocking the first goal past Twin Valley keeper Taylor Courchesne just five minutes into the match. That put Twin Valley in a tough spot early in the match.
“We played catch-up all game,” said Twin Valley coach Chris Wallling. “We chased them, we got tired. When we weren’t chasing, we were standing around.”
Leland & Gray’s Erin Bates scored the game winner on a penalty kick that was awarded at the 11:32 mark. Then Longo put in a second goal to build a 3-0 lead with just under 14 minutes played in the match.
But Twin Valley tried to rally back. Five minutes later, Sadie Boyd put a shot past Rebel goalkeeper Kelsi Bostrom to draw the Wildcats closer. That tally closed out the scoring for the first 40 minutes and Leland & Gray held a 3-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Rebels controlled much of the midfield, but could only add one more score. Longo got loose on a breakaway 14 minutes into the second half and beat Courchesne for the final point of the match.
“We didn’t play well,” said Walling. “We were reactive instead of proactive and that makes for a long afternoon.”