By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Winning a championship is hard but defending it can be even harder and that’s what the St. Matthew’s girls soccer team was attempting to do last Friday when it took on St. Paul for the Pacific Basin League A Division title at Brentwood School. The Falcons were hoping to avenge a 3-1 loss during the regular season, but St. Paul scored on a penalty kick in the first half and scored off a cross in the second half to win 2-0.
St. Matthew’s, coached by Rob Risley and Gustavo Bonini, was seeded fourth in the West Division but reached the final after a 3-1 victory over Geffen Academy in the quarterfinals (8th-grader Milla Klostermann scored all three goals) and a 2-1 semifinal win at Crossroads thanks to Klostermann’s two goals and the stellar goalkeeping of 7th-grader Sarah Finestone.
Rounding out the Falcons’ roster were 8th-graders Callie Davis, Ruby Elliot, Kaitlin Lazenby, Kiki McKenzie, Georgia Miller and Devon Sullivan; 7th-graders Juliana Camara, Reilly Davis, Summer Havens, Isabelle McCarthy, Eliza Ozbolt and Chloe Wyruch; and 6th-graders Margaret Himes, Margo Macdonald, Sophia Martin, Caroline McCarthy, Addie Seidel, Millie Slow, Grace Taylor and Sophia Waters. The team finished with a 5-4 record.
Jasie Belden scored off a corner kick from Lucy Bowden with 10 minutes left to lift the Falcons to victory over top-seeded Archer School for Girls in last year’s PBL final—the Falcons’ first girls soccer title since 2014.