October 3rd, 2017

Rockets cruise to win over Mercy on senior night

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Rockets cruise to win over Mercy on senior night
Assumption's Jessie Grunduski (white jersey) battles Emma Schmidt (light blue jersey) for the ball / photo by Conor Revell

Mercy’s soccer team walked into their Tuesday night game with the hopes of spoiling Assumption’s senior night despite missing four key regular starters.

The Jaguars scored the first goal of the game but Assumption settled in and scored the next seven goals to cruise to a 7-1 senior night victory at the Assumption Greens.

“Honestly, I can’t put it into words how much these seniors mean to me,” Assumption head coach Haley Tammy said. “We are obviously very senior heavy with 10 of them. They welcomed me in with open arms. I’m their third coach in three years. They have been resilient and accepted me, my philosophy and run with it. They have been great leaders and have stepped up when I have asked them to. I’m not ready to let them go yet. They know that.”

Hannah Hennessey and Corinna Soto scored two goals apiece for the Rockets (10-7-4) while Riley Ennenbach, Kacy Nalley, and Kaitlyn Revell also scored.

Kennedy Cline, Jessie Grunduski, and Payton Jansen dished out assists.

While it was senior night, Revell was the only senior to score a goal and Cline and Grunduski were the only seniors to record an assist.

“It’s heartbreaking to have my senior night in a way thinking about how this is one of the last games I will play with my sister (Addison, who is a junior),” Cline said. “I have been playing soccer with her since I was in first grade and she was in Kindergarten. That’s what hit me the hardest was about her and never playing again with her. She’s my best friend so it’s going to be hard. It’s sad when I think about it.”

Mercy (6-8) was shorthanded as Bailee Locke (sprained ankle), Londyn Bivens (concussion), and Hannah Burba sat out with injuries but head coach Lora Gralheer hopes to have the trio back next week in time for the 24th District championship game. Sophie Stallings (ACL) also missed the game but is done for the season.

“This shows you what you have as a whole team,” Gralheer said. “It’s very easy to have those set 10 or 12 players that you go to all the time. Those are the players you are going to play and rotate with. The challenge is when somebody goes down. Who is going to step up, work hard, and play for one another when it’s not perfect? There aren’t a lot of seasons with no injuries. I feel like we have had more injuries than most teams but we have gotten young players valuable experience.”

Mikayla Miller scored the lone Jaguar goal and put her team up 1-0 when her shot from 15 yards out flew above Assumption goalkeeper Alyssa Campisano head and into the net.

Revell scored the equalizer when she scored on a breakaway and sent the ball rolling past Mercy goalkeeper Morgan Scott less than two minutes later.

“We just had to wake up,” Tammy said. “With all the stuff with senior night, it took a toll on them at the beginning with all the sentimental things that are going on. It took them a while to wake up. That was a good wake up call. Mercy got that goal and that will do it.”

Ennenbach scored off a Cline corner kick to give the Rockets a 2-1 lead with 18:47 to go in the first half and her team never relinquished the lead after.

“We have been struggling a lot on corner kicks lately so it’s a big W to get one in,” Cline said. “I don’t think she headed it in. I think she flicked it in backwards. It was pretty cool. We have been trying to work on getting stuff on the back of the ball. Hopefully I just put it in the right place.”

Hennessey’s first goal of the game gave the Rockets a 3-1 halftime lead.

“I think we needed to pick our head up and move forward,” Hennessey said. “We’ve been wanting to improve on our possession and a key part of that is moving the ball forward. I thought we did that very well late in the first half and the second half.”

Hennessey scored the first goal of the second half, Nalley followed, and then Soto scored twice in less than 10 minutes.

Despite allowing seven goals, Scott had a magnificent performance in the box and saved 11 of the Rockets 21 shots.

“Morgan (Scott) is a senior who has just worked hard all four years,” Gralheer said. “There have been times where the battle between her and Mikayla (Miller) for the goalkeeping spot has gone Mikayla’s way. But recently Morgan has stepped up and has earned the role. She has stepped up. Mikayla has stepped up in other ways. The more Morgan plays and organizes our backline, the better we’re going to be going into the postseason.”

Miller’s goal was Mercy’s only shot of the game. 


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