St. Luke's girls soccer team falls to Greenwich Academy in FAA semifinals
NEW CANAAN -- Katie Tenefrancia is a defensive-minded midfielder who rarely sees much action in front of the opponent's goal. So, after assisting on the deciding goal in Greenwich Academy's 2-0 girls soccer victory over St. Luke's during Wednesday's FAA semifinal, one might think the play would stand as the highlight of the season for the junior.
Nope. Not even the highlight of Wednesday's game.
"Frustrating (St. Luke's high-scoring forward) Salma (Anastasio) was more important," Tenefrancia said. "Assisting on the goal was big, but being more defensive-minded and keeping Selma from scoring meant more."
Anastasio entered Wednesday's game as one of the top scorers in the state with 34 goals in 17 games. But the senior was given no room to operate as St. Luke's could muster only five shots on goal.
"It was pretty frustrating, but I expected it," Anastasio said after the Storm's bid for a third consecutive FAA championship ended. "When we played them during the season (Sept. 28) I scored two goals in the second half and we won 2-1. But today was their day."
St. Luke's (14-3-1) came in as the No. 2 seed in the tournament while GA (12-3-3), which defeated Convent of the Sacred Heart in the first round, was the 3 seed. But thanks to two Marquerite Basta goals it will be GA that will be playing in the FAA Final Friday at No. 1 Rye Country Day. GA won FAA titles in 2009 and `10 and was runner-up in 2011.
"Katie was definitely the MVP of the match," GA coach Alistair Lonsdale said, and not necessarily referring to her assist on the first goal. "She was unbelievable on defense. Selma is such a threat out there. She's an awesome player. She raises the level of play of everyone on her team, but also on our team. I'm just glad we don't have to play against her anymore but I think we frustrated her a bit today."
After a scoreless first half in which GA outshot the Storm 5-2, the Gators finally got on the board with 20:19 remaining in the second half. Megan Root's free kick from the right side found Tenefrancia, who was stationed to the left of the goal. Basta then took Tenefrancia's pass and tapped it past St. Luke's goalie Melanie Bow (eight saves). Five minutes later Basta beat Bow to a free ball in front of the goal to make it 2-0.
"They put a lot of pressure on us in the second half," St. Luke's coach Dan Clarke, whose team now awaits a likely New England tournament bid. "We got caught up with a set piece on the first goal and then they caught us on the break. But give them credit. That's the best team we've faced all season."
The Gators, who also expect to receive a New England tournament bid, outshot St. Luke's 14-5 overall. GA goalie Kat Tubridy finished with three saves.
Greenwich Academy 2, St. Luke's 0
GREENWICH ACADEMY 0 2--2
ST. LUKE'S 0 0--0
Records: Greenwich Academy 12-3-3, St. Luke;'s 14-3-1. Goals: GA--Marguerite Basta 2; SL--none. Assists: GA--Katie Tenefrancia, Megan Root; SL--none. Goalies: GA--Kat Tubridy (3 saves); SL--Melanie Bow (8). Shots: GA--14; SL--5.