A 6-1 start powered the Bishop Ludden girls soccer team into the no. 10 spot in the state Class C rankings as September neared an end.
The Gaelic Knights defended that ranking in a hard-fought game against Fabius-Pompey last Tuesday night, needing some late heroics to fight past the Falcons 2-1.
With its own 6-1 mark, F-P played Ludden on even terms in the first half. Shelby Hunter scored for the Gaelic Knights, but the Falcons countered with Bella Carroll’s goal.
All through the second half, Ludden put on pressure and controlled possession, but it remained 1-1. Just before it could head to overtime, though, Morgan Beamish flashed open and poked a shot past Falcons goalie Melissa Dow into the net to win it.
It was close again on Thursday night, at Onondaga, but the Gaelic Knights slogged through the wet conditions to beat the Tigers 1-0.
As often happens, a hot goalie can even the odds, as Ludden found out trying to put shots past OCS keeper Samantha Annable. All told, Annable made 11 saves and kept the game 0-0 into the second half.
Ludden could only break through once, but it proved enough as Mersadiz Hayes put home an unassisted goal. That held up, thanks to a defense that limited the Tigers to just five shots.
So began the toughest stretch of Ludden’s season, featuring five games in eight days. It continued Saturday, against Faith Heritage, where the Gaelic Knights used a big second half to beat the Saints by a 4-1 margin.
Even here, though, it was 1-1 at halftime before Ludden got away in the late stages. Hunter, Kelly Granteed, Kellie Byrne and Jenny Vazquez all had goals, with Hayes and Korey Kibling joining Hunter in the assist column.
Mired at 3-5 when the last week of September began, the Bishop Ludden boys team began a recovery attempt last Monday, venturing to Cato-Meridian and blanking the Blue Devils 4-0.