History was made Wednesday night for the Grace Prep girls’ soccer team at Mansion Park.
The Lady Storm were in the District 6 Class A playoffs for the first time but drew the top seed in Bishop Guilfoyle.
Grace Prep, which runs a co-op program with St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, is in its infancy when it comes to the PIAA level. The Storm entered their second season of membership after competing in the Allegheny Christian Athletic Association for 10 years.
“It was a great experience,” Lady Storm coach Jason Fisher said. “That’s really why we came here. We wanted to reward the team for having a really good season. We said if we accomplished a winning season we would bring them to the districts.”
The Lady Marauders (14-3-1) didn’t welcome them well in an 6-0 victory in the semifinals.
Grace Prep (8-5-3), which has 16 freshmen or sophomores among its 20 players on its roster, held its own for a while at the start of the game.
“We have a really young team,” Fisher said. “It was our way to get them experienced to this so they are ready for future years.”
Goalkeeper Abby Bulick is a freshman on the team and a co-op player from St. Joseph’s.
She got peppered time and again by 19 BG shots, but it didn’t stop Bulick from doing her job as she finished the night with seven saves.
“It was a new experience,” Bulick said of the game and her play. “My initial thought is I’m down I got to get back up and get ready again. Don’t play the pass, play the shot.”
Grace Prep’s offense wasn’t the sharpest but it still managed to move the ball up and down the field. A touch here or there and the Lady Storm were close to scoring their first playoff goal.
With 18 minutes to go in the game, one of those touches came. Alex Madeira, one of two seniors on the team, was one-on-one with the Marauder goalie, but she was ruled offside. Madeira again came close with 8:30 left in the game when she and teammate Abigail Galliano worked on a give-and-go. Madeira’s shot sailed wide of the net.
Bishop Guilfoyle scored five first-half goals to race out to a large halftime lead. Jordan Deleo’s hat trick led the Lady Marauders offensively. She tallied a pair in the first half and tacked one on with just under 29 minutes to go in the game.
BG also picked up a pair of goals and an assist from Delaney Myrick, a goal from Riley Lewis and Karis Taddei had a pair off assists.
“They are fantastic,” Fisher said. “Bishop Guilfoyle is a tremendous team. They are the team we want to be. We want to be able to compete with Bishop Guilfoyle. We want to get to the point where we are playing at that level.”