By Lindsay Caton
Special to Uptown Messenger
After beating out The Academy of the Sacred Heart Cardinals girls soccer team, the Vandebilt Catholic girls soccer team are state champions once again.
The Cardinals were unable to hold off a second half push by Vandebilt in the Division 3 Soccer State Championship game at Tad Gormley Stadium on Thursday night.
After a scoreless first half, Vandebilt netted three goals to win the State Championship game 3-1.
The first half saw offensive pushes by both teams. Sacred heart would have the first opportunity to score in the fifth minute, but the shot missed wide right. Vandebilt quickly responded, showing their offensive talent with a shot on goal in the eighth minute.
Both teams seemed to be letting the pressure get to them. Collisions between teammates on the field, coupled with poor passing and clears, displayed two squads who were undoubtedly rattled by nerves.
The score at halftime was 0-0.
In the second half Vandebilt seemed to settle in to their game. Their offense came out quickly scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes to pull ahead.
However, the Cardinals did not quit. They kept the ball on Vandebilt’s half of the field for most of the second half taking multiple shots that just missed the net.
Their determination would finally pay off in the 59th minute. A penalty kick taken by Emily Hardie would put them on the board making the score 2-1 with 20 minutes left in the game.
With a little momentum from the goal, they continued to play tough both on offense and defense.
Sacred Heart saw another opportunity with a free kick from the 40 yard line with 4:30 left in game. The Cardinals chipped a jump ball into the Terriers penalty box hoping for some good fortune, but the Vandebilt’s goalie made a quick decision to catch the ball before anyone else could get a touch on it.
With time running out, Sacred Heart pushed their defense up into the Terrier’s half with hopes that the added pressure would help the Cardinals score. However, turnover led to a Vandebilt breakaway that would result in their third and final goal with 2:10 left.
Sacred Heart was unable to rally back.