Cyclones bounce defending champs

In a rematch of the 2012 SCISA Class AAA state title matchup, Porter-Gaud was hoping to exact a little revenge on Cardinal Newman, the team that handed the Cyclones a loss in last year’s title match.

After falling behind, 2-1, the Cyclones rallied with three second-half goals to defeat the defending state champions, 4-2.

Porter-Gaud, now 18-2, advances to Saturday’s title match at Patriots Point Soccer Stadium against Heathwood Hall. One of Porter-Gaud’s two losses this season came against Heathwood Hall.

Sophomore Katie Chick scored two goals and senior Tahirih Nesmith added two goals and an assist to lead the way for the Cyclones.

“We have 11 seniors on this team, so it’s a team that has a lot of leadership and they have adapted the motto of ‘losing is not an option,’” said coach Daniel Jordan. “This is a team that never stops playing, regardless of the situation. I’m very proud of them because they just beat a really good soccer team.”

Ten minutes after the opening goal, Chick scored from right in front of the goal, tying the match at 1.

Cardinal Newman took a 2-1 lead in the 37th minute.

“I wasn’t too concerned being down at half because I really thought we had it going good right there at the end,” said Jordan. “I think we were positive at halftime, but I felt we needed to score quickly and put the pressure back on them.”

Just as Jordan had hoped, five minutes into the second-half, Chick received a perfect cross from Nesmith and tied the score at two with her second goal of the contest.

Nesmith broke the tie with 24:49 remaining, taking a pass from Sarah Carlton and beating Cardinal Newman keeper Maigan Nieri for a 3-2 lead.

Nesmith pushed the lead to 4-2, heading a corner kick into the back of the net with under 14 minutes left in the game.