Kirby in control

John
John Browne
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Regular season goliaths blank Holy Cross, earn championship bye

It will take the biggest upset in provincial women's soccer history to keep EPR Kirby/The Dock from raising the championship trophy Sunday night in St. John's.

Kirby, controlling the match brilliantly from the midfield, dominated Holy Cross by a 4-0 score at King George V Park Tuesday night. The victory earned Kirby a bye to the final which will be played at 7:30 p.m.

Pamela Reid (left) of Holy Cross and Dana Brewer of EPR Kirby chase down a ball during Breen's Jubilee Trophy women's soccer playoff action at King George V pitch Tuesday evening. Kirby went on to win the match 4-0, earning a bye to Sunday evening's champ

It will take the biggest upset in provincial women's soccer history to keep EPR Kirby/The Dock from raising the championship trophy Sunday night in St. John's.

Kirby, controlling the match brilliantly from the midfield, dominated Holy Cross by a 4-0 score at King George V Park Tuesday night. The victory earned Kirby a bye to the final which will be played at 7:30 p.m.

Nicole Adams, a real ball hawk all night, scored twice for the winners, while Leslie Pope and Laura Breen, on a penalty kick, booted the other goals for the winners who led 2-0 after the first half. Janine Bursey and Simone Quinlan shared the shutout.

The playoff round continues 6:30 p.m. Thursday night with Paradise Physio playing Holy Cross and the winner advancing to Sunday's final.

Adams, who has scored 49 goals in regular season play over the past two years, said the team is strong in all areas of the field and she praised the work of the midfielders who kept the strikers supplied with all the ammunition they needed.

When asked if she would be shocked if her team didn't win the championship given the team's unbeaten record during the regular season and an easy first playoff game victory, Adams replied: "I wouldn't say I'd be shocked because I've been there before. I've been with a team that was expected to win but didn't," she explained, referring to first-place Investors Group/Billy Boot last season when they were upset by Holy Cross in the semifinal.

Adams said everyone on Kirby is well aware that the players have to avoid complacency.

"We were hoping to take tonight's (Tuesday) by at least a few goals to get our confidence up for the final. We tried to stay positive and focused. We're undefeated, so we know everyone is out to get us."

Kirby dominated from the opening whistle and it only took 10 minutes to get on the scoresheet. Breen, a dangerous striker and playmaker all game long, collected a long pass through the midfield and fed a perfect ball to Pope who found the back of the net from inside the 18-yard penalty area.

The Kirby women were poised and in command for the duration from the keeper out. They won most of the one-on-one battles with aggressive play and made smarter decisions with the ball when they had possession. The defence played as well as it needed to play in keeping Holy Cross to a half dozen scoring chances.

Adams' first marker came six minutes after Pope's when she won the ball from Holy Cross keeper Nancy Smith at the top of the penalty box and popped it into an open net.

The blue and yellow clad Kirby team missed a excellent opportunity for another goal around the 32-minute mark when Malorie Harris sent a perfect long ball through to Breen who should have done better. Breen had a couple of options early when she broke into the clear. However, those options began to fade and the angle got tougher as she dribbled closer to the Holy Cross net, finally blasting the ball to the short side that the keeper had properly covered.

Breen got a much easier opportunity to score in the second half.

Referee Dave Liverman pointed to the penalty spot at the 56-minute mark after Breen complained about interference from a Holy Cross defender as she attacked the net.

"Good call, Laura," Holy Cross coach Paul Reddy shouted sarcastically from the sidelines. "Good call."

Breen, who missed a few scoring opportunities in the first half, made no mistake, beating Smith to the top corner of the net with a hard shot the keeper had no chance to save.

That goal seemed to take some of the steam out of Holy Cross although the Redshirts didn't toss in the towel at that point. In fact, their best scoring chance came with about three minutes left in the game when backup keeper Quinlan, who replaced starter Bursey at the 68-minute mark, was forced to make a good save on Maxine Morris at the side of the net.

Adams converted a cross from the sidelines for the final goal of the game at the 71-minute mark.

Kirby coach Scott Betts said the team doesn't always play as well as it did Tuesday, but he agreed the game was won at midfield.

"Even though we won 4-0, you've got to respect Cross. They never gave up. Our last two games against them were ties," he said.

"This is far from over yet," Betts added with a smile. "We've got to get ready for Sunday."

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Dock, Investors Group

Geographic location: St. John's, King George V Park

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  • hi
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    GO KIRBYYYYYYYY

  • hi
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    GO KIRBYYYYYYYY