The Sacred Heart Academy Valkyries defeated Assumption Rockets 1-0 in the Jenna Cooper Cleat Game on Saturday night. The lone goal was scored by Valkyries’ Allie George with the assists by Taylor Nelson and Callie Birk.
The Cleat game is played in honor of former Sacred Heart stand-out player Jenna Cooper. Cooper tragically lost her life 15 years ago and Saturday would have been her 37th birthday, before the game both teams released balloons to honor Cooper.
“This game is really means a lot to us because Jenna Cooper’s legacy is just so important. Jenna loved the game, but she also loved life,” said Sacred Heart Head Coach Libbey Smith. “She just really loved life, just really loved the game and treated everything like soccer. She gave everything her whole heart and 110%. We just want to make sure we are honoring her when we play.”
George’s goal came from a corner kick in the 76th minute. The lone goal was all the Valkyries would need to eventually seal the win.
“It was a corner kick so I was telling myself to follow the ball through even if it’s an awkward bounce,” said George. “I just told myself to put my whole body into it and get it to the back of the net.”
The Valkyries had a number of close chances, but the Rockets defense and goal keeper Addy Saultzman would keep Sacred Heart from scoring another goal.
The Valkyrie defenders kept the Rockets off the board on numerous occasions as well. With 16 minutes left Assumption’s Ellie Meyer had a good look, but SHA defenders were able to head butt the ball out.
“Even though Assumption is our big rival, it’s all about Jenna Cooper here and honoring her legacy no matter if it’s a win or a loss,” said George. “Assumption is a really good team so tonight was a really good hard battle.”
This coming week is the last week of regular season and the Valkyries want to stay on top of their game says Coach Smith.
Sacred Heart will play again on October 2 at home vs Bethlehem and then close out regular season vs 6th ranked Highlands at home on October 5.
“We are going to keep playing like we are playing,” said Smith. “We also need to be smart and make sure nobody gets an injury that we can prevent.”
Assumption will play again on October 2 at Oldham County and October 5 at Simon Kenton to close out regular season.
The MVP’s of the game were Maddie Reed of Assumption and Allie George of Sacred Heart.