Sunday, September 19, 1999

Holy Cross girls edge No. 2 Sacred Heart 1-0

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Claiming the No.1 state ranking is within reach of the Holy Cross girls soccer team.

        A goal by Tracy Kennedy, off a pass from Tara Nolan, with six minutes remaining in the first half, lifted the Indians to a 1-0 victory over Louisville Sacred Heart Saturday at FOPA Fields.

        “When I got the ball from Tara, I looked to see where the goalie was located,” Kennedy said. “When I kicked it, I knew it was in unless she made a good dive.”

        Sacred Heart was ranked No.2 in Kentucky with Holy Cross No.4. On Monday, the Indians play at No.1-ranked South Oldham.

        “We were the only team to beat South Oldham last year and they'll be waiting for us,” Holy Cross coach Dave Reynolds said.

        Although Holy Cross played an outstanding game, the victory was somewhat tainted due to the controversial ejection of a Sacred Heart player (Jenna Cooper) six minutes into the game.

        Cooper had just completed a clean slide tackle when she was whistled for a foul by Chad Marshall, the official working the middle.

        Marshall claimed that after the tackle, Cooper's leg came up too high. Cooper jumped to her feet and started downfield, making a remark about the call to a teammate.

        “When you're forced to play a girl short, it changes the game,” Sacred Heart coach Rafael Arauz said. “But give Holy Cross credit. They played an outstanding game.”

        Arauz made several adjustments and Sacred Heart didn't appear to miss a beat, controlling the ball most of the first half before the Indians scored.

        Sacred Heart was limited to three shots in the second half with the Holy Cross defenders Natalie Walker (goalie), Katie Ryan, Megan Flesch, Julie Halpin and Julie Wilmes controlling the action.

        “Our strategy every game is to contain the opponents attackers,” Flesch said. “They were fired up and physical after their player was thrown out of the game.”

        Flesch would like nothing better than to beat South Oldham Monday and earn the No.1 ranking but Reynolds isn't sure the team is ready.

        He recalled what happened in 1996 when the Indians opened the season with 10 consecutive victories to earn the No.1 ranking.

        “We lost our next game,” Reynolds said. “That's why I'm not interested in the ranking today.”

        Holy Cross is now 10-2, losing 1-0 to both Notre Dame and Highlands.

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