BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – The Holy Trinity Catholic girls soccer team downed Mediapolis 7-0 Tuesday night in district soccer at South Park in West Point.
For their efforts, they get to face the No. 1 team in the state in Class 1A in the likes of Davenport Assumption Friday night in Davenport at 6 p.m.
The Rashid sisters, Maya and Elle, combined for four goals on seven shots to lead Holy Trinity. Senior Ali Randolph scored one goal on nine shots on goal. Taylor Boeding and Elyse Pothitakis scored the other goal.
The game started a bit sluggish with both teams moving the ball and the majority of the minutes were spent with HTC on the offensive pestering Mediapolis’ Sydnie Kirbie for most of the game.
“I want to give credit to the Mediapolis girls first,” said HTC coach Michael Sheerin. “That’s a young team and I told the coach they have compassion and they work together. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I know it takes about five to get a program up and running and he’s gonna get there.”
But Sheerin said his squad moved the ball as well tonight as they have all season.
“We had lovely movement of the ball. Maya, our player of the game, and Elyse Pothitakis did a great job of keeping the offense moving. That keeps the defense moving around and opens things up.”
Boeding scored the first goal of the game at 16:42, more than halfway through the first period. But then the goals came more fluidly for the Crusaders as Elle Rashid found the back of the net off a rebound in a scrum of HTC and Mediapolis players just 1:30 seconds later to start setting the tone for the Crusaders. Randolph had two hard shots at the goal but Kirbie kept her out for the first half.
Maya Rashid rounded out the scoring in the first half when she punched one in at the 11 minute mark.
It took the blue and white about 10 minutes in the second half to get going again when Randolph finally got one of her shots by Kirbie at the 29 minute mark. The fifth goal came when Maya Rashid took a shot that ricocheted off a Mediapolis defender and sneaked by Kirbie. Elle Rashid found the net with her second goal of the night to put the Crusaders up 6-0 with 7:22 left in the game. Pothitakis capped off the scoring a few minutes later and shot up the middle to ice it for HTC.
Sheerin said he’s been very impressed with how his squad has overcome adversity on the season, losing four seniors and having them replaced with underclassmen who are getting the job done.
“Emily Box is probably the fastest developing player of the year. Her intelligence, her play, and her movement. Sam Pothitakis and Ashlyn Haas are both 9th graders and are playing very well.”
The defensive speed of HTC kept the ball away from HTC keeper Avery Malinksi for most of the night as she only needed three saves to preserve the shutout.
Sheerin said Assumption will pose a strong test for his girls, but said he’s going to rely on the odds of the post season.
“We’re gonna hope everything goes right for us and everything goes wrong for them,” he said with a chuckle.
“But, really, they are a very strong team with some thoroughbreds. Our goal will be to earn their respect but turning in our best match of the season. And win, lose, or draw, if we leave with them asking, ‘Who was that?’….we did our job.”