Ireton tops McNamara in battle of the bishops

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Ireton tops McNamara in battle of the bishops
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Watching from the sidelines, Bishop Iretons varsity lacrosse coach Rick Sofield cast aside any doubts his team wouldnt overcome Bishop McNamara long before Sara Rupp put the Cardinals up 1-0. 
    
And with good reason. Rupp, a senior midfielder, found her way past McNamaras defense unassisted less than three minutes into the matchup on the Cardinals home turf. 
    
Seconds later Iretons Katherine Simmons put them up 2-0. Not to be outdone by her fellow seniors, Bridget Reilly made it 3-0 with 19 minutes and 33 seconds to go in the first half. 
    
It was the beginning of a long evening for the Mustangs and a good one for the Cardinals, already celebrating their annual senior night. 
    
This is an experienced team, Sofield said after his squad finished up a 14-5 victory in a battle of the bishops. We came out flying. We got a bunch of different seniors scoring and we settled into our regular offense.
    
Quicker than their Mustang rivals on both sides of the field, the fleet-footed Ireton team wove through defenders and swarmed McNamara whenever the crimson and gold took possession of the ball. Though their defense stiffened at times, McNamara couldnt hold off Iretons fast attack forever. 
    
The Cardinals notched seconds off the clock as they worked around the Mustangs defense with about 15 minutes left in the first half. Their patience paid off with a fourth unanswered goal, this time at the hands of senior midfielder Sarah Fyffe. 
    
After the Mustangs failed to capitalize on another pair of offensive rushes, Cardinals senior Megan Moseley scored to make it 5-0. Teammate Maddie Zeigler made it 6-0 less than a minute later. 
    
Like her coach, Zeigler cant remember worrying about whether the beleaguered Mustangs were capable of mounting a successful comeback.
    
I didnt think they would, she said, plainly, following the game. I think we really worked well together and did a lot of the things we worked on in practice.
    
The junior attacker put the finishing touches on the evening, landing Iretons 14th goal as the final seconds of the game ticked off the clock. When it became clear the games outcome was no longer in doubt, the team began to work on a few plays theyve prepared for their upcoming playoff run, she said. 
    
[These] are plays we hope to use in more challenging games, Zeigler said. I thought [the game] was good practice for us. But at the same time, we took it as a game.
    
The easy win after an 11-10 loss to Potomac School over the weekend puts the Cardinals at 9-6 on the season heading into their Easter break. With three games left in the regular season campaign, the early lead gave Zeigler and company an opportunity to work out any kinks.
    
Were trying to get them geared up for the playoffs, Sofield said. Were trying to sharpen up.
    
Sofield expects the Cardinals will head into the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed. Assuming they make it through the first round, theyll have another shot at Holy Cross.
    
When the two teams met earlier in April, the Tartans came away with a 13-12 win over the Cardinals. 
    
But before then, the Cardinals will have to get through St. Catherines, Holy Child and Stone Ridge.
    
Its always nice to go into a break with a win, Sofield said. But we have three tough opponents coming up.

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