The Cardinals recorded their seventh shutout in 10 matches.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
STRUTHERS -- Cardinal Mooney junior Colleen Zajac sat on the soft ground at the Tri-County Sports Complex, fighting to remove the athletic tape from her right ankle. The wrap was putting up a determined battle but it was a losing situation.
That's the way things developed for the Mooney girl's soccer team Saturday -- Fitch put up a tough fight but the Cardinals unraveled all their plans.
Mooney used a strong defensive showing to beat Fitch, 5-0, notching an impressive seventh shutout in 10 matches.
Zajac, along with Gretta Brak, Amanda Stanavich and Kortney Thomas, formed a solid defensive team that rarely gave the Falcons an uncontested look at the Mooney (9-0-1) goal.
Fitch (5-3-3) entered the game with two excellent scorers -- Jodi Bowlen (18 goals) and Brittney Getz (12 goals). They were reduced to non-factors much of the match.
"We had two girls who were marking them and they played real tough on them," Zajac said.
Kelly Burke scored two first-half goals and added an assist and Mimi Vitello had two goals for the Cardinals.
"They're a very disciplined team, a very well-coached team," Fitch coach Carlo Trafficante said. "They did all the little things that it takes to win games. We didn't."
Burke scored first with the game only eight minutes old. Junior Kelli Willis lofted a pass over a defender's head that hit Burke in her feet, only three yards from the goal.
Burke, who had two goals in a match earlier this week, said the Cardinals "worked real hard" for the win against Fitch.
"I was excited about that," Burke said of the first goal. "We were just all working real hard, passing the ball real nice. Working good."
While Mooney led 2-0 at the half, Fitch had trouble getting its offense on track before the break.
"The first half, it goes back to being disciplined," Trafficante said. "We played a lot of long balls and that's not our style.
"You're not going to score and get opportunities when you got two forwards, and I don't care how good they are, going against 4-5 defenders. You need to get some numbers up."
Vitello makes it 3-0
Less that two minutes into the second hall Vitello accepted a sweet entry pass from Willis. Vitello bent just slightly and scored a header from eight yards away making it 3-0.
Willis leads the team with 15 goals and eight assists.
Vitello scored a left-footed goal in the waning minutes to round out the scoring.
"The header, Kelli Willis just played me a real good ball," Vitello said. "The other one, my left foot, I was a little nervous about that because I'm right-footed. Everything worked."
The other Mooney goal came from the foot of Marisa Simon, giving her nine on the year.
"We didn't come here to play our best," Trafficante said.
"Tonight, by far, they were the better team. Maybe next week we would have been the better team."