St. Mary’s Ryken girls soccer team stays hot
Bullis scores twice as Knights win their 15th game of season
Tuesday evening the St. Mary’s Ryken High School girls soccer team continued its winning ways this fall by getting a pair of goals from one of its leading scorers and an unexpected one from a defender en route to a 3-1 victory over visiting Bishop Ireton (Va.) in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference contest.
SMR (15-4, 3-3 WCAC) got two goals in the first half from senior forward Haley Bullis, who is no stranger to scoring for the Knights and a second-half goal from senior True Sandoval, who celebrated her first goal ever for the Knights. St. Mary’s Ryken was just two days removed from winning the Maryland Independent state tournament, taking five contests last weekend in Hagerstown, and now is approaching unchartered waters in the tough WCAC.
“The girls have really been playing well,” Knights head coach Tim Major said. “We only allowed one goal in five games last weekend in that tournament in Hagerstown and tonight we played really good defense limiting Ireton to just one goal. That’s the first time we’ve ever beaten them in my seven years here.”
Bullis gave SMR an early 1-0 lead when the converted a breakaway opportunity into a goal by beating Ireton goalkeeper Katherine Fuller. But less than five minutes later the visitors drew even on a goal by Nora O’Connor that eluded Knights goalkeeper Lauren Davey, who would make amends over the next 70 minutes of play, however.
SMR had several good scoring chances on corner kicks and deep passes over the next 20 minutes, but it did not reclaim the lead until Bullis notched her second goal of the outing with just over five minutes remaining in the first half. The prolific senior nearly had two more goals in the second half, but both chances were waved off when she was deemed offsides.
“That first goal was a breakaway and I just had time to take a good shot,” said Bullis, who plans to major in science when she heads to college next fall. “Then on the second shot, I was able to turn and get my hip behind the defender and then take a low shot with my left foot. Good thing my left was working tonight. I have to avoid being offsides on those breakaway chances.”
Less than a minute after Bullis was denied a hat trick when she was deemed offsides by the nearest official, Sandoval gave the Knights a 3-1 lead when she took a cross from Kyleigh Cox and sent a high shot that Fuller deflected with her right hand but was unable to send it over the crossbar. The ball hit the underneath part of the crossbar and then caromed off the inside part of the left post and into the net.
“It was just a lucky shot,” Sandoval said of her initial goal. “When I kicked it, I thought it was going over. She nearly saved it, but it just bounced around and finally went in. This year has really been great for all of us, especially the seniors. We usually win one of two games in the conference, but this year we’ve already won three.”
Five minutes later another Bullis scoring chance was waved off when she was deemed offsides again and in the subsequent minutes, the Knights had good scoring chances from Cox, Elizabeth Staufenberger and Gabrielle Leach. Two of them ended in Fuller’s hands, while the third sailed wide of the post.