The Nolan Catholic Women's Soccer team didn't have much of a Christmas Break as they traveled West to San Francisco to the Tri-Valley Classic. The Lady Vikings spent 4 days on the West coats competing against the highest competition possible. Head coach, Jay Fitzgerald talked about the challenge, "We want the most competitive schedule in the country. I think we are the only team that spends a third of their season playing out of state teams."
On day of Tri-Valley, the Lady Vikings took on St. Francis Catholic from San Jose, CA. The game was end to end with Nolan Catholic leading 1-0 and 2-1 until giving way in the end 4-2. Goals were scored by Abbey Geiser and Laci Earixson. "We did some really good things in this game but just didn't manage some important moments," Fitzgerald said.
Just 3 hours later, the Lady Vikings take to the field again against a strong Bishop O'Dowd team but this time had to climb back from a goal given up in the early minutes of the game. Abbey Geiser scored her second goal of the event to equalize just 10 minutes after the Lady Vikings conceded. All the scoring was done in the first half of this match and O'Dowd got themselves back in the lead off a corner in the final minute of the first half. More end to end action in the second half but the score remained 2-1 Bishop O'Dowd.
After some good rest and a double header on Day 1, the Lady Vikings took to the field again against a gritty Windsor High School team from Santa Rosa, CA. Avery Hutka, Abbey Geiser, and Deborah Cottrell put the Lady Vikings up 3-0 and before you know it, with 15 minutes remaining and playing a man down, the scored is tied. Fitzgerald mentioned, "We got comfortable and you know what that means... we just didn't continue to do the things we did to take the 3-0 lead but the response was tremendous." Just after Windsor equalized the Lady Vikings responded and Avery Hutka added to her earlier goal and Laci Earixson put the nail in the coffin to seal the 5-3 win.
For the past 3 seasons, the Lady Vikings have used out of state opponents to re-affirm their identity and this year will be no different. The challenges this Lady Vikings team faces each and every year are beyond adverse. NEPS2017 battling in sub-freezing temps forced inside on a small field against California Grace Brethern, then the NIKE So Cal High School Classic playing 4 games in 4 days with OT and a PK Shootout, and then this year, 3 games in 48 hours at Tri-Valley.
All that to return home on Christmas Eve, have a 3 day break and then back at it again to prepare to host the National Elite Prep Showcase and take on 2-time National Champion, St. Thomas Aquinas from Florida in the opening match.
"I want these young ladies to have the best experience with the most difficult challenges. By the time they are done with their high school careers, I want them to be better people, problem solvers with a No Fear mentality, " mentioned Fitzgerald.
Both Lady Vikings teams took to the field tonight in near freezing temperatures in the GCISD JV Invitational and the National Elite Prep Showcase. The JV took on Bryon Nelson and moments before overtime was possible, they conceded a late goal to drop their opening match of 2019. They will take on Colleyville Heritage tomorrow at 4:00pm at Cross Timbers Middle School.
The varsity played host to Florida St. Thomas Aquinas in NEPS2019 scoring one of the nicest goals you will ever see. Avery Hutka, Laci Earixson, and Abbey Geiser combined to get the ball to Mya Ulloa who hammered home a one-touch finish in the 9th minute to get on the board first. With 14 minutes to play Ulloa doubled the lead pasting a penalty kick in off the goalkeeper and in the corner. Just before the half, the Lady Vikings lead was cut in half of a counter from Aquinas making the break a bit more tense.
Defensively, LVS was solid the entire match lead by center backs, Maddie Caffey and Alyssa Spotts and freshman goalkeeper, Alle Steining.
The tone was set early in the first half and again in the second with a goal just 6 minutes in by freshman, Avery Hutka off an assist from Rachel Firestone. That lead held strong and the Lady Vikings improved to 7-4-1 on the season with a 3-1 opening NEPS match. California Steele Canyon in the next opponent tomorrow evening at 6:00pm. The match will again be broadcast LIVE. CLICK HERE to Watch. #lvsLIVE