The Ravenwood Lady Raptors (3-1-1) soccer team stunned the Lady Lions (5-1) of Christ Presbyterian Academy 4-0, ending their five-game winning streak Tuesday night at CPA.
“We are progressing still, and our forwards are putting away the chances that we have,” said Ravenwood head coach Jessica Mancini. “As a group, we are marching forward.”
“This is really important to us, because we have a lot of hard games coming up,” said Ravenwood senior Bella Macaso.
“Jessica Mancini is just a top notch coach,” said CPA head coach Tom Gerlach. “Ravenwood is one of those teams that are going to challenge you. Going into our region schedule, we had to play a team that we knew we were going to be tested.
"Ravenwood moves the ball around and plays so fast. You can try to replicate that in practice, but until you see it on the field, it just doesn’t resonate. Sometimes when you have a loss, it helps you refocus and gets you on track for stuff you can work on.”
CPA finished in the final four of their division last season while Ravenwood has won back-to-back state championships for their AAA division.
In the first half, it was a back-and-forth contest with missed shots that went wide or over the net. With seconds to go, Ravenwood junior Abigail Dibble looped a shot over the goalie on a free kick after a common foul to give the Lady Raptors a 1-0 lead at halftime.
In the 42nd minute, Ravenwood extended their advantage on a sliding attempt placed in the back of the net by senior Bella Macaso to increase the lead 2-0.
“I kept getting the space and had a few chances in the first half,” said Macaso. “Coming into the second half, I managed to get off two good shots.”
Macaso tallied her second goal of the match with a blast in the box at the 49th minute, finding the lower corner of the net. This stretched the Lady Raptors margin to 3-0.
“Bella is a worker,” said Mancini. “She wants to score in the box and take the chances that she has. She had two really pretty goals tonight, with the second goal being with her left foot, bottom corner. I can’t ask anything better from her.”
Ravenwood continued to surge adding another tally in the 68th minute by junior Ali Fitch on a goal that snuck past the keeper in the lower right corner to give the Lady Raptors a 4-0 advantage.
“They worked together and stayed connected,” said Mancini. “Communication is always key.”
“We just kept pressing their defense,” said Macaso. “In the second half, we just finished our opportunities and kept working hard.”
CPA tried to cut into the deficit, but senior Kendall Curran kept them at bay, posting another team shutout with a clean sheet.
Ravenwood’s dynamic duo rotation of Curran and junior Lexie Grundler (starting goalie for last game) at the keeper spot continued in this game. They both prove to be a thorn in their opponent’s side, no matter who is in net.
“We are lucky to have them,” said Macaso. “I think because they are so good they can compete against each other. It not only pushes them to work hard for themselves, but for the whole team.”
“Some teams this year don’t have a goalkeeper, and I have two amazing varsity goalkeepers,” said Mancini. “I also have a JV goalkeeper that could be playing varsity.
"Kendall has absolutely grown to an amazing goalkeeper every single year. We have full and complete confidence in her in everything that she does. It is going to be interesting to see who our top goalkeeper is, because they are neck-and-neck all the time.”
CPA will travel to Brentwood Academy this Thursday.
“BA has had some really good results,” said Gerlach. “I know they are going to be pretty strong. We wanted to go in there relatively unscathed and healthy, because we know what is coming.”
Ravenwood will host Nolensville on Thursday.
“I hope we keep our streak going and continue to score goals,” said Macaso. “It will be really good competition.”
“I want us to continue to play as a group, holding down on defense, not letting any goals in, but also putting away the chances that we have,” said Mancini. “Nolensville is going to be super competitive. Anytime we see them, it is always going to be a good battle.”