Lawrence cel­e­brates se­niors with win over Not­ting­ham

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Kyle Franko kfranko@tren­to­ @kj_franko on Twit­ter

LAWRENCE » For the 11 play­ers who have been so in­stru­men­tal in help­ing turn the Lawrence High girls soc­cer pro­gram around, this was the per­fect way to cel­e­brate Se­nior Night.

The Car­di­nals jumped over the .500 mark and helped im­prove their seed­ing for the up­com­ing Mercer County Tour­na­ment with a 5-2 win over Not­ting­ham on Thurs­day night.

Sarah Ber­ardi scored twice, while Gabby Caruso, Evelin Dap­prich and Ken­dra Dempsey all tal­lied once.

“We’re so ex­cited to turn the pro­gram around from sopho­more year un­til now,” se­nior mid­fielder Vicky Wierzbow­icz said. “We’re so proud of what we’ve done for this team and we wish the best for the pro­gram to keep go­ing from what we’ve done.”

Not­ting­ham (7-6) ac­tu­ally scored first when Gi­u­liana Po­cino con­verted a pass from Gia Gir­man, but that only served to wake up the Car­di­nals (7-6) as the two teams traded hay­mak­ers in the open­ing 40 min­utes.

Ber­ardi equal­ized in the 21st minute, which set off a stretch that fea­tured five goals in the last 19 min­utes of the first half. Gabby Caruso scored off a cor­ner kick four min­utes later and Evelin Dap­prich made it 3-1 with 13 min­utes left.

“I think the were a lit­tle antsy at the start,” Lawrence coach Emily Palombo said. “When we fi­nally set­tled down and started to find feet, we were able to con­nect and fin­ish our op­por­tu­ni­ties.” Wierzbow­icz agreed. “We were re­ally ex­cited be­cause there are so many of us and we couldn’t wait for this night,” she said. “It took us a lit­tle while to get go­ing.”

Gir­man, the North­stars’ stand­out fresh­man, scored her 12th of the year in the 30th minute to make it 3-2 and Not­ting­ham was an inch away from a tie score when Ivonne Vasquez hit the cross­bar from 16 yards.

In­stead, Lawrence went down and scored again when Ken­dra Dempsey bun­dled the ball over the line from Emily Mi­hov’s cor­ner. When Ber­ardi headed in her sec­ond goal early in the sec­ond half, it was the third time the Cards scored from a cor­ner kick.

“The cor­ners were re­ally good to­day,” Wierzbow­icz said. “We were get­ting to all the loose balls, pounc­ing on them and get­ting them in. We’re re­ally proud of that be­cause we’ve been work­ing on set pieces a lot through­out this year.”

Lawrence won 12 games last sea­son and hosted a home play­off game for the first time in a decade. Palombo is hop­ing that’s once again a pos­si­bil­ity.

It would be an­other feather in this group of se­niors’ cap.

“They have turned this pro­gram around and are ex­tremely spe­cial to me, all 11 of them,” Palombo said. “They are amaz­ing lead­ers and role mod­els for the (younger) girls. I’m so happy that they got this and they’ll be pumped go­ing into our last (reg­u­lar sea­son) game and MCT. We don’t want to be taken lightly and no­body is go­ing to take us lightly.”

Not­ting­ham (7-6) Lawrence (7-6) Goals —

Po­cino, Gir­man (N). Ber­ardi 2, Dap­prich, Dempsey, Caruso (L). Gir­man (N). Mi­hov 2 (L). 17 (N). 14 (L).

Haas 4 (N). Hat­field 3, Wake­man 3 (L).

As­sists — Shots — Saves — 2 0—2 4 1—5

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