CHICAGO HEIGHTS | With a young team in 2014, Marian Catholic is having to learn on the fly. And now without their leading scorer Hailey Losselyong, the Spartans are really going to have to pick things up quickly.
Marian Catholic fell 1-0 to Marist Saturday afternoon in both teams East Suburban Catholic Conference openers. The Redhawks scored in the sixth minute of the match, and the lone goal held up the last 70-plus minutes.
The Spartans were without Losselyong for the second straight game and the Spartans are 0-2 in both matches. The Spartan's offense has struggled, and Marian Catholic was without a goal in both losses.
"We are not the same team without her," Marian Catholic coach Nasser Shahtaji said. "She is the whole team's offense, and that hurts us."
Marist's Lorna McCall found the back of the Marian net just 5:22 into the match to give Marist the early 1-0 lead. The Redhawks (3-1-1, 1-0) were able to play an effective possession game for most of the first half, and the Spartans (5-4, 0-1) struggled to maintain possession and obtain any offensive chances.
"Right now it's still a team of freshman and sophomores," Marian Catholic keeper Sarah Sieracki said. "We still have to figure out where everyone's going. The first half, we were just slow from the beginning."
The Spartans came out stronger in the second half, but Marist was still able to dictate much of the tempo throughout the final 40 minutes. The Marian Catholic defense was able to hold the deficit at one for the entire match, but the Spartan offense was unable to record a shot on goal in the match. Sieracki finished the game with six saves for Marian Catholic.
"The team definitely pulled it together better in the second half," Sieracki said. "We do have things to work on, but we're going to get better."
Losselyong suffered a concussion on March 31st in a 3-2 Spartan win over Queen of Peace, and her 7 goals account for all the Marian Catholic offense in 2014.
"Despite being under a lot of pressure and their possession of the ball, we were able to stay with them," Shahtaji said after the loss. "The kids didn't give up. They played hard. I'm happy about the effort and energy."