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Quakers quell Mooney: Top Cardinals 9-0 in playoff rematch

SALEM – The state-ranked Salem Quakers girls soccer team looks to be a team with a mission. In their Monday night non-conference match with Cardinal Mooney, they scored five first-half goals, and four quick second-half goals to win soundly 9-0.

The victory improves the Quakers to 10-0 on the season. They are 3-0 in Eastern Buckeye Conference action.

“We are really playing as a team,” stated Quakers coach Kent Paulini. “We’re seeing simple passes, not overcomplicating the game, which is what we have been preaching since June. Just play as simple as possible. They are starting to see it, and they are having fun while doing it, which is the big thing.”

“This win is good in that it just goes to prove that we are a good team this year and show teams what we can do. We have good chemistry on the field,” Quakers sophomore forward Rylee Hutton said.

The victory was a bit of revenge for a District Finals loss the Quakers suffered last year to the Cardinals on the same Sebo Stadium turf. But both teams agreed that this year was different as the Cardinals graduated ten seniors from last year.

“It’s a bit of a salty spot with me,” Quakers senior goalkeeper Sam Moore commented. “Obviously they did beat us, and it was a really bad loss, but seeing us come back this year with the amount of effort that we have put into the game, it’s a really proud moment to watch all of my girls.”

“We graduated nine or ten seniors, all starters from last year so we knew coming into this season we were going to have a young team and an inexperienced team. We only have two seniors this year. We have ten girls that have either never played before or have limited soccer experience. So it’s going to be a building process,” Cardinals interim coach Dom Diorio said.

The Cardinals coaching staff is also in a bit of transition. First-year coach Abby Golden is on leave due to a family health issue, leaving newly appointed girls basketball coach Dom Diorio to take over the soccer program.

The Quakers showed their ability to push the ball forward and score quickly in the contest, while also being able to adjust on defense and keep the Cardinals from really mounting any quality offensive threats. After a slow defensive tone to the match for the first 15 minutes, the Quakers opened things up with two quick scores from Hutton at the 24:21 mark and another from Abbie Davidson at 21:40.

“We have other players that can put the ball in the back of the net as well,” Hutton remarked. “We have several girls that can do impressive things.”

“Rylee’s speed is hard to match obviously. She is a great competitor for the track team and with her coming out this year we play her on the top and hope her speed gets her to the goal and that she can finish. And Abby Perry is a monster up top. She gets that ball and she can chew defenders up. Another key to our attack is Mikaylynn Murphy who has been battling some ankle issues, so we made a last-minute call to scratch her tonight,” Paulini described the key weapons to the Quakers offense.

From that point, the Cardinals had to come out of their defensive posture and open things up. That, unfortunately for the Cardinals, led to the Quakers burying three more goals in the back of the net in the following ten minutes of the contest.

“We pulled some girls up to see if we could create a little offense because we were playing defensively to keep it competitive in the first half. And again, I’m not the head coach so I had them in a couple of formations that they weren’t used to so the girls were a little unsure of what their roles were,” Diorio admitted.

While the Quakers were peppering the Cardinal’s goalkeeper, they were stonewalling the Cardinals defensively. Quaker’s goalkeeper Sam Moore would only face two quality shots on goal in the contest.

“It’s all my defenders right now,” Moore admitted about pitching the Quaker’s fourth straight shoutout. “They are wonderful. Krista Barley is the heart and soul of our defense. In general, these last four games I haven’t touched the ball at all and that’s all thanks to my defense.”

“Nobody put their head down, no one was whining or crying. They weren’t fighting with each other. You see that when the other team is taking it to you. They all kept their heads up and that was encouraging,” Diorio remarked about the Cardinals team.

The Cardinals will try to get back in the winning column next Wednesday when they host Austintown Fitch at YSU. The Quakers will try to stay unbeaten on the season when they travel to Minerva this coming Wednesday night in EBC play.

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