The St. James soccer team (6-2, 1-2 FRC) hosted Sullivan for a Four Rivers Conference matchup on Thursday, April 12. The Lady Tigers got six goals out of Quinn Paulus in a 6-2 win, beating the Lady Eagles for the first time since the 2010 season.
Paulus got St. James out to a great start on Thursday night, scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. The second and third goals came within a minute of each other. The first two goals were unassisted, while the third was scored off a pass from Alyssa Rinehart. St. James nearly carried that 3-0 lead into the half, but Sullivan bombed a long shot that Ivy Fowler couldn't get a grip on in the 33rd minute, so the Lady Tigers went into halftime with a 3-1 lead.
St. James nearly added several more goals in the opening half with a number of great runs from Mikaela Donnelly, but she couldn't find the back of the net. Donnelly then suffered a leg injury late in the first half. She returned in the second half, but she still had a bit of a limp and wasn't running at her top speed. Despite that injury, she had a few more great runs in the second half, but the heavy wind led to a few misses.
The Lady Tigers held strong with their 3-1 lead until the 65th minute, when Sullivan slipped through the St. James defense for a goal. Now trying to protect a one goal lead, Paulus kicked it into overdrive. Paulus scored three goals in rapid succession in the 73rd, 74th and 76th minutes with assists from Kaylynn Crocker and Ashlyn Rinehart to put the game out of reach. St. James held on for the final few minutes to win 6-2.
The win was St. James' first Four Rivers Conference win of the season and their first victory over Sullivan since the 2010 season. Assistant coach Beau Moreland thinks this game will give the Lady Tigers a nice confidence boost.
"It feels great. I think the girls, even though they knew they were a good team, they knew they had a good chance of coming out here and getting their first conference win, I think nerves definitely played a part in it," said coach Moreland. "After we finally got done and that last horn sounded, it felt great. It's just that sigh of relief that all of their hard work and practices kicked in and paid off."
The Lady Tigers will next travel to Laquey on Tuesday, April 17.