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Two late goals carry Notre Dame over Pulaski

By Murray Gleffe

PULASKI – Anna Clancy and Audrey Burnell each scored a goal in the final 10 minutes to help lift the Notre Dame Academy girls’ soccer team to a 4-1 Fox River Classic Conference victory over Pulaski April 19 at Saputo Stadium.

“Our defense has been compacted and been a savior for us in many games,” Notre Dame Head Coach Nick Browne said. “Our first goal was fantastic. It was set up by a ball play from Mia (Lemkuil). The last couple came from us attacking the field and finding the back of the net.”

Having outscored their opponents 27-1 in their first 5 games, the Tritons wasted little time scoring.

In the 17th minute, Burnell took a pass from Mia Lemkuil and found the back of the Pulaski net for a 1-0 lead.

“It was a team effort in getting on the board first,” Burnell said. “It lit a fire under us to keep fighting every possession.”

Each time the Red Raiders looked like they were closing in on Notre Dame goalie Carlene Goral, defender Sarah Hardwick would kick the ball to the corners or far out of bounds.

With five minutes remaining until half, the Tritons struck again.

Maggie Thillman took a feed on the right half of the field and found a small gap past Pulaski goalie Peighton Brandenburg for a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

Much of the second half was played in and around the center hash, with neither team generating much offense.

That changed in the 69th minute when Pulaski’s Gianna Logue went top shelf on Goral to cut the lead to 2-1.

“We needed to keep our composure after they scored,” Browne said. “We have a bunch of level-headed girls who are competitors. We didn’t shut down but rather pushed forward.”

The one-goal differential was short-lived as Notre Dame flexed its championship pedigree a minute later.

With 10 minutes remaining, two Pulaski defenders overran the ball and Clancy sent a shot in for a 3-1 lead.

In the 72nd minute, Burnell ended the Red Raiders’ hopes of a comeback by notching her second of the night for the final margin.

“We figured there would be some growing pains with a mesh of mostly sophomores and seniors,” Browne said. “However, the sophomores have come along lots faster than we thought. We want to keep our net clean moving forward.”

The Tritons will step out of conference for three games hosting Oshkosh West April 21, while Pulaski travels to New London April 22.

“We want to prove even though we lost nine seniors last season, nothing is going to stop us,” Burnell said. “Our goal is to not slow down and go for a state championship down the road.”

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