St. Mary's girls' soccer sets up second-round showdown after beating Bayfield

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When St. Mary’s girls’ soccer assistant Samantha Cardenas asked the No. 11 Pirates what they hoped to accomplish in their first half of Class 3A playoff soccer in Wednesday’s first-round matchup against No.22 Bayfield at the Grace Center, senior Marisa Shigio, one of the team captains, said she wanted a goal in the first 10 minutes.

When the game entered the 11th minute, the Pirates led 2-0 en route to a 3-0 victory over the Wolverines.

“Before the game our coach Sam likes to ask us what our goal would be in the first half, and I said ‘We need to score in the first 10 minutes. Be quick,’ and that’s what we did,” Shigio said.

Shigio nearly opened the scoring two minutes in when her shot from outside the box ricocheted off the crossbar.

The senior midfielder had to settle for an assist in the eighth minute when her through ball settled on Katie Fowler’s foot. The junior forward took it with the inside of her right boot and snuck it past Bayfield goalkeeper Lana McKee to the near post.

“Katie in that first half, she was playing on a different level,” St. Mary’s coach Gregg Braha said. “There were 21 girls playing at one level, and Katie Fowler was playing at another level. Gosh, she really flips the switch and goes.”

The Pirates doubled their lead two minutes later when sophomore Katherine Chartier finished a rebound off a Mary Brummel shot. St. Mary’s kept possession for much of the rest of the half but wasn’t in the clear until Brummel scored the third goal six minutes into the second half.

The game opened up in the second half with the Wolverines pressing for a goal, but the Pirates' defensive tandem of Tara Thomas and Brooklyn Valdez did well marking Bayfield's Savannah Kaufmann, who scored 24 goals in her senior year.

While Shigio was around for the 2015 quarterfinal run, the rest of the Pirates haven’t made it out of the first round.

“I’ve never won the round of 24, so it was like ‘I really want to win this,’” Fowler said.

Saturday’s second round comes with added motivation as rival Manitou Springs, the sixth-seeded team that was in attendance Wednesday, waits after a 13-2 regular season. One of those losses came to the Pirates, 1-0, on April 21.

“They’re always a one-goal game,” Braha said. “And it doesn’t matter what year it is, and it doesn’t matter who the personnel is. It just keeps rolling over every four years. It’s just that 130-some years of rivalry between the two schools.”