Gerstell Academy girls soccer was confident it would make history Saturday. The Falcons back it up with a 80-minute clinic in the IAAM C Conference title game.

Gerstell claimed its first soccer championship with a 7-1 victory over Catholic at Calvert Hall. Kirsten Clarius, Olivia Sprinkle and Ragan Ramsey recorded two goals apiece for the Falcons.

Gerstell used ball control, timely playmaking and sound defense to complete a perfect run through league play (14-0 including playoffs). The Falcons (16-2-2 overall) went unbeaten (11-0-1) over their final 12 decisions.

“For us, I think it was more keeping possession of the ball and defensively, I think it was putting them under pressure, not letting them dictate the game,” Gerstell coach Giuliano Celenza said. “In the second half, I think it was super important that we kept possession because we didn’t have the wind… it allowed us to try to find our two center midfielders and just play out wide, get in the box and it all worked out for us today.”

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Ramsey registered a goal in the fifth minute of action to kick off the afternoon. Catholic responded with a score by Anna Grace Bankert off a pass from Johanna Gray.

After the 1-1 tie, the Falcons held the Cubs scoreless for the remainder of the game while netting four more goals before intermission.

“This is the most successful season I’ve been a part of,” said Sprinkle, who scored her second goal on a breakaway in the 45th minute that put the Falcons up 6-1. “This is the first [IAAM] championship that the Gerstell girls program has made it to, and I’m just so proud of these girls.”

As a team, Gerstell combined for 20 shots while holding Catholic (13-3) to three.

“I think we are a better team than what we gave today,” Catholic coach Alla Stepanov said. “We have a lot more technical and tactical ability. We got beat on fitness (conditioning) a little bit, so we weren’t able to showcase our strengths as much as we’d like to.”

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Gerstell prevailed, 2-1, in its previous meeting with Catholic.

Satirday, the Falcons were locked in.

“It feels good,” Ramsey said. “I feel like we came a long way.”


at Calvert Hall

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Catholic 1 0 — 1

Gerstell 5 2 — 7

Goals: Catholic - Anna Grace Bankert; Gerstell - Kirsten Clarius 2, Reagan Ramsey 2, Olivia Sprinkle 2, Addison McIlvain

Assists: Catholic - Johanna Gray; Gerstell - McIlvain, Kylie Haislip, Ramsey, Marisa Wargo, Cambrie Franks

Saves: Catholic - Gabriele Gray 15, Sydney Leard 2; Gerstell - Sydnee Smith 3