Frank Davis took away plenty of positives even in defeat.
The St. Ann’s girls soccer coach was without four key players in a 4-1 loss to host Staten Island Academy in an ACIS game Friday. Senior goalkeeper Rachel Landman was tested early and often by an aggressive SIA attack and made 12 saves. His squad also responded with an early goal in the second half despite trailing by three at the break.
“She definitely got tested big time today and I think she is excited and happy, regardless of the loss, with what she did out there today,” Davis said of Landman.
St. Ann’s, which generated very little offense in the first half, attacked early in the second. Tigers keeper Deanna Lambiasi had to make a diving save on a Haller shot to the left post. The junior later sent a cross to the top of the box that Beth Alexion kicked in to pull St. Ann’s within 3-1 in the 48th minute. SIA answered four minutes later when Danielle Fuller scored off the rebound of a C.J. Bernieri shot that hit the crossbar.
“I thought they found a weakness, they changed their lineup and we found that weakness,” Alexion said. “Unfortunately they were stronger than us in the center.”
One of the four players missing was junior center midfielder Sarah Hills (knee), along with Emma Beiderman (concussion) and Katie Coates (wrist). Two more players had the leave the game with injuries. St. Ann’s (8-2-0, 1-1-0) went to the NYSAIS state semifinals and handed SIA a loss last season, but were undermaned against a physical Tigers team, ranked No. 9 in the city by The Post.
“I think had we had a full roster we would have given them a much better game,” Alexion said.
Davis praised the play of sophomores Mya Sullivan and Chin Odim, who were playing out of position in the back. SIA (9-0-1, 3-0-0) swarmed the goal and pounded it with shots from 20 yards out in the early going. Amanda Moschella scored twice in the first 20 minutres and Fuller tallied her first goal just before the break.
“Did you see those legs?” Davis joked. “I wish we had some of those legs.”
While he was impressed with SIA, the thing he liked the most about his own squad was its resolve.
“It’s rough, but we stayed with it,” Alexion said. “We never gave up.”