Goretti puts it together

August 24, 1999

Goretti puts it together: Changes give Gaels win in first game

Hedgesville vs. St. Maria GorettiBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photos: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

St. Maria Goretti midfielder Bobbie Johnson compares soccer to a jigsaw puzzle. Her coach, Victor Della Mea, looks at it more like a Rubik's cube.

Either way, the Gaels solved the puzzle under the time limit Tuesday afternoon, getting two goals from Johnson for a 3-2 victory over Hedgesville in the season opener for both teams.

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At halftime, Della Mea switched the lineup around, a move that pushed Johnson into every corner of the field. It worked, as the Gaels turned up the pressure and rallied from a 2-1 deficit.


"We were down. At home, you have to take that personally," Della Mea said. "Erin (Ryan) controlled the middle. And Bobbie had free reign; she's a good enough player to do that."

Hedgesville knew it, and still couldn't do enough.

"We knew their big players (Ryan and Johnson)," Hedgesville coach Sonny Tippett said. "We wanted to make someone else step up and take over for them, but they still scored all their goals."

Johnson left-footed a 20-yard bomb to the far post in the 38th minute to put Goretti on the board, then put in a 25-yard free kick in the 51st minute to tie the score.

Hedgesville vs. St. Maria GorettiGoretti's pressure resulted in the lead three minutes later. A flurry in front of the net sent the ball off the arm of a Hedgesville player, and Ryan put in the penalty kick.

"In the first half, we were a little frustrated," Johnson said. "We said at the half, 'If we keep a bad attitude, we could be in a bad situation.'

"This team is like a puzzle, when there's a piece missing, it doesn't work. But as soon as we said, '1-2-3-team,' (to end halftime) we were set to go."

The second-half Gaels blew away all Hedgesville's chances until late in the game and ruined a two-goal day from striker Amanda Burris, who found the net after solid one-on-one moves against the Goretti defense in the first half.

And it capped an all-too-familiar comeback against Tippett and the Eagles.

"We were up here last year and had a 2-0 lead and they came back," Tippett said. "I warned them about that; this game wasn't going to be won 2-0."

Unfortunately for the Eagles, he was right.

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