The St. Clair soccer Lady Bulldogs did most of their scoring in the first halves to get two Four Rivers Conference wins on the road this week.
St. Clair (4-3, 3-1) took a 2-0 lead into halftime at Sullivan (5-5-1, 0-2) Tuesday and that’s the way the score held after the full 80 minutes. The Lady Bulldogs followed up Thursday with another win, 4-1, against St. James (1-3-1, 0-1).
Haley Buscher and Madison Husereau did the scoring for St. Clair. Zoe Gaszak picked up an assist.
Goalkeeper Courtney Williams needed just three saves to earn the shutout.
“I thought we played pretty well in the first half and controlled the game,” St. Clair Head Coach Tim Isgrig said. “We created a lot of chances early and had seven corners in the game. We have to be hungrier around the net and take advantage of our chances.”
Buscher started the scoring, putting the ball in directly off a 40-yard free kick.
“She placed it in the upper corner to get us on the board,” Isgrig said. “I was really happy for Haley. She’s an extremely selfless girl that moved from center mid to center back for us this year and is willing to do anything to help the team. She is getting more comfortable in the back and was a big reason for our shutout last night.”
Husereau scored for the second time in as many games and remained the hot foot for the Lady Bulldogs after scoring the deciding penalty kick during the tiebreaker with North County Last week. It came on the second assist of the year from Gaszak.
“This was our best goal of the season so far,” Isgrig said. “Zoe worked really hard last night (and) played a great ball to Madison. Madison made a good run then had a perfect finish in the corner. This goal gave us some breathing room.”
The St. Clair backfield limited Sullivan’s opportunities at Williams in the net.
“Another bright spot for us was Emma Smith,” Isgrig said. “Emma played 80 minutes at outside back for us and did a great job winning balls and helping us gain and keep possession. Courtney made a couple saves in goal but defensively our back 4 of Gracie (Sohn), Haley, Erin (York), and Emma did a great job limiting their chances. They all played 80 minutes and did a great job.”
St. Clair scored three goals in the first half to take a commanding advantage. The team exchanged goals in the second period.
Kaitlyn Janson and Chloe Merseal both scored a brace in the game to account for the four St. Clair goals.
Makayla Johnson, Sohn and Husereau were each credited with an assist.
Williams turned in two saves in the net for the Lady Bulldogs.
The scoring opened in the fifth minute on Janson’s first goal of the game. Johnson made the assist.
“It was nice to get an early lead and we applied a lot of pressure on them early in the game,” Isgrig said. “Janson scored from about 20 yards out.”
Merseal extended the lead with her first goal.
“Gracie played a good ball to Chloe’s feet and Chloe had a left footed shot to put us ahead 2-0,” Isgrig said.
Janson scored for the second time in the first half with the assist from Husereau.
“This was our best goal of the night,” Isgrig said. “Janson hit a low hard shot off the back post and in.”
Both goals in the second half came on penalty kicks with Merseal doing the honors for St. Clair.
“This was a big goal for us and got us back to the 3 goal gap where we could play more comfortable,” Isgrig said.
The Lady Bulldogs are next scheduled to play Friday at home against Fatima at 5 p.m.