Speedy forward Clare Culligan scored all three St. John’s Prep goals as the Johnnies beat the Zimmerman Thunder 3-1 Thursday in Zimmerman.
“They are by far the quickest team we have faced,” said Thunder coach Jeff Downing, “capped off with a very talented junior forward in Clare Culligan.”
Her goals, all unassisted, came in the 13th, 28th, and 70th minutes.
“Believe me, we did well to stop her on several more threats,” said Downing.
Justine Charles in goal was able to reduce angles and close down the ball to make several saves, and the defensive core of Marg Olson, Flor Margaria, Kendra Kraabel and Ashley Johnson responded to necessary adjustments at halftime. They made Culligan work hard for her chances in the second half.
Zimmerman’s goal was the result of intense pressure by Cami Bond on a lost ball. She forced an error that led to Katie Bonnema’s goal in the 67th minute. Bonnema had to hit a perfect shot to get by goalkeeper Claire Arnold and two charging defenders.
“Even with the loss, the second half was the best soccer we have played this year,” said Downing.
The Thunder (1-4-1) will play at Monticello on Monday.