By John Bombatch
RIVERSIDE — When Carroll’s leading scorer knocks in a few goals, it’s pretty much expected. But when a hobbled senior chips in and does the same, it’s a welcome and very pleasant surprise.
Abby McNamara came into Wednesday night’s home game with Cincinnati Roger Bacon as the leading scorer in the Greater Catholic League’s Co-Ed Division with six goals and three assists. So when the junior forward turned in a hat trick in a lopsided 9-0 win, it wasn’t as big a deal as when fellow captain Mia Raiff turned the same feat.
According to Carroll coach Sarah Flach, Raiff has been hobbled by a foot/ankle injury for much of the season. The injury requires surgery in order for it to heal correctly, but the Patriots senior opted to hold off on the operation until after soccer season.
Raiff had her hat trick off an assist from McNamara with just over four minutes left to play in the first half. She finished with three goals and two assists. McNamara had three goals and an assist, Tiffany O’Grady scored twice and had an assist, Hannah Ritter had a goal and an assist, and Niki Birr and Rileagh Costello each chipped in with an assist.
Carroll’s first goal came off Raiff’s corner kick and an own goal off a Spartan defender less than four minutes into the game.
Roger Bacon coach Tom Eckart wasn’t pleased when Carroll sent starters Raiff, McNamara, Birr, Haley Sabo, Elise Paietta, and reserve Katie Scudder, into the game with just under 10 minutes left to play.
“I thought it was unsporting that winning 8-0 they would put their starters back in,” Eckart said. “I thought that that was poor sportsmanship and I was kind of disappointed with their coach for doing that.
“I think they have a very strong team. They did a good job of finishing, and just about everything they shot at our goal went in. We’ve been having some goalkeeper issues and they took advantage of that.”
When asked about the late substitutions, Flach placed the blame on herself.
“That was poor time management on my part, because I put the subs in with 22 minutes to go, but they tired and just needed a sub back out,” she said. “So I put (the starters) back in not thinking that they would go hard to the goal.”
McNamara’s unassisted final breakaway goal came with just over a minute remaining in the contest for the final 9-0 margin.
Carroll will return to action Monday when they’ll host Dayton Christian in a 7 p.m. non-league match at Patriot Stadium. Roger Bacon has a nonleague contest of its own on Saturday. They’ll host Louisville (Ky.) Holly Cross at 2 p.m.
John Bombatch can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.