Varricchio stands tall for Carroll

RADNOR — Archbishop Carroll goalkeeper Alex Varricchio had her work cut out for herself in the first half against St. Hubert Monday. The pressure was on her, the final line of defense, to stifle the seemingly relentless Bambis.

Forty minutes in and it seemed as though the Patriots seldom, if ever, had the ball in St. Hubert’s defensive third, chalking up no more than two shots on goal before halftime.

Melissa Stahl opened things up for the Patriots in the second half, scoring two goals to give the Patriots a 2-0 victory.

“We really didn’t step it up until halfway through,’ Stahl said. “In the second half, I think staying marked helped us get more opportunities and win the ball more.’

St. Hubert had a disadvantage from the start, with their top two keepers out with injury, leaving Erin Kelley as a late addition to the squad. However, her services were rarely needed in the first half as the Bambis kept constant pressure on.

“I just tried to stay positive and just tried to keep the defense positive, too,’ said Varricchio, who finished with eight saves. “I know if they’re feeling negative they might give up and keep letting shots in.’

While frustrated with the number of open opportunities the Bambis were given, Varricchio stayed active and kept her team in the game heading into halftime. To start the second half, the Bambis again were on the prowl for the game’s first goals with Varricchio taking a foot to the forehead just minutes into the half.

But on the following possession, Stahl deposited her first goal in the 54th minute, a shot from outside the box that sailed over the defender’s head and found the net.

The goal let Varricchio have a little breathing room.

“Once we get one goal I always feel better,’ she said. “It’s still one goal, they could come back and score, but it’s better than none.’

With a lead in hand, the flow of play went firmly in the Patriots’ direction.

“That early goal Melissa scored forced them to chase the game — that was not a conventional goal by any means,’ said first-year coach Frank Olszewski. “They had to chase the game and it really wears on you … you become fatigued and that’s hard to overcome.’

At the 18:28 mark, Stahl again came up with a goal to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead, assisted again by Juliet Rossetti.

When asked about the third-string goalie in the net for St. Hubert, Stahl was unaware of any weaknesses.

“I didn’t know whether the goalie was new or not, but (assistant coach) Larissa (Nysch) told me to take less touches,’ Stahl said. “I just took a shot and it went over the defenders head.’

For Olszewski, who has led his team to a 2-0 start in league play, he’s found some production out of young players.

“We’re going to mix things up from last year, probably make some mistakes, but the kids responded well today,’ Olszewski said. “It’s the blessing and a curse of this game to be outplayed at times and be winning.’



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