Richmond’s Marybeth Sloat attempts to block St. Dom’s Avery Lutrzykowski during Saturday’s soccer game in Auburn.
AUBURN — From the beginning, it was clear that the St. Dom’s girls’ soccer team was ready to play.
The Saints scored three goals Saturday morning, two by Avery Lutrzykowski, and defeated Richmond by a score of 3-1.
“It was a good performance overall,” St. Dom’s coach Patrick Keary said. “We definitely came out in the second half with a much better performance.”
To start the game, St. Dom’s pushed the attack from the get-go with two chances created by forward Madison Samson. With 26 minutes remaining in the first half, Samson was the catalyst of the chance that counted when she crossed the ball from the right side into the middle for Addie Suckow to tap into the corner of the net.
Despite seven shots in the first half, the Saints could only get one by Richmond goalkeeper Sydney Tilton, who had five first-half saves.
At halftime, Keary’s speech to his team was to be more organized and aggressive.
“It was mainly our striker trying to find space in between their center backs, and defensively I wanted us to be more aggressive,” Keary said. “So, overall, it was to get organized defensively and be more aggressive toward the ball.”
It may have taken a couple extra minutes for the Saints defense to get organized to start the second half. Bobcats forward Destiny Anair shot from the right side of the penalty box into the top of the goal, past keeper Hannah Kenney for Richmond’s only goal.
Now, in recent seasons, the Saints’ offense may not have been able to counter with an organized offense of its own, but thanks to the midfield and Lutrzykowski, Saturday was a different story.
Lutrzykowski received the ball at midfield with about 31 minutes remaining in the match and ran towards goal. The forward made a few defenders miss and buried the ball into the net, under the diving arms of the goalkeeper for the go-ahead goal.
“A couple of years ago on offense we would kick it over the defense and I would run and go get it, but now we have good passing,” Lutrzykowski said. “I saw that they had one defender that was way far back, so I knew that if I could get past the first defenders that I could get past her and score, so on my first goal that’s what I did.”
After stealing the possession back after the goal, a handball was called on Richmond in the penalty box, leading to a penalty kick. And who better than the junior forward Lutrzykowski to take it. The shot was good, driven into the bottom-right corner and it was suddenly 3-1 in a blink of an eye.
“I always put it in the same place every single time, and I practice them a lot, so I wasn’t really thinking,” Lutrzykowski said. “I think the key to that is just not think about it and put it in.”
Richmond put up a few shots late in the match but couldn’t get any to go, and the Saints sealed up the win. After the match, Keary had nothing but good things to say about his junior forward.
“She’s done really well, she’s got a fantastic attitude,” Keary said. “Her effort and attitude are first class, above the rest.”
St. Dom’s Addie Suckow winds up to kick the ball past Richmond’s Destiny Anair during Saturday’s soccer game in Auburn.St. Dom’s Rileigh Stebbins handles the ball as Richmond’s Ashley Brown, left, and Marybeth Sloat keep the pressure on during Saturday’s soccer game in Auburn.