Sacred Heart remained perfect in pool play at the 47th Annual Apple Tournament by defeating Ballard 3-0 Thursday night.
“I think both teams had hard games last night, so we were both on the tired side. But we picked it up in the second half. I was happy with the second half,” said head coach Eleanor Mitchell. “I think we played smarter tonight because we were so tired from the night before. Our communication was better tonight. I thought we played together. There wasn’t a lot of individual play. We were happy with the win.”
The Valkyries got on the board at the 23:32 mark of the first half thanks to a goal from senior EJ Imorde. They went nearly 35 minutes before scoring again. With Ballard down a player due to a yellow card, Sacred Heart senior Layni Lawton broke the drought with 18:54 to play to give her team a 2-0 lead. Less than a minute later, senior Annie DiOrio slapped one home for the Valkyries’ third and final goal of the night.
Mitchell believes early season games like this one can serve as a good barometer for how her team can improve.
“We’ve had three long weeks of preseason,” she said. “We were really ready to get a game under our belts. I think we can assess and see where we are and what do we need to work on.”
Ballard head coach Shelby Daeschner was encouraged by her team’s performance Thursday night despite the loss.
“Ballard is unique in that we never start out tough. So, I am surprisingly happy with this game,” she said. “Yes, we lost. But I learned so much about where these girls are at to help them improve what they need to work on. Ballard is lucky enough that we always get better throughout the season. We had a win under our belt. Now we have a loss under our belt and so they are ready to hit the dirt running.”
Sacred Heart can finish pool play unbeaten with a victory over South Oldham on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. Ballard drops to 1-1 and takes on Manual at 12:45 p.m.
Elimination games for the Apple Tournament are slated for Sunday with the championship game scheduled for Monday night.