Second-half rally spurs St. Francis

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — St. Francis High soccer player Connor Snashall stood by the far right post eagerly waiting for the ball to get to him through a maze of players.

After a teammate crossed the ball that was then headed off the crossbar, Snashall got the break he needed.

Snashall tapped in a shot off a rebound for the winning goal with two minutes remaining to propel host St. Francis to a 2-1 Mission League victory against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday night at Friedman Field.

"It was a case of just being at the right place at the right time," said Snashall, a senior midfielder who scored the winning goal for a second straight match and helped the Golden Knights improve to 8-6, 4-0 in league. "We had some earlier situations in the game and we had no luck, but we eventually had to get it."

The play developed when a cross by junior midfielder Thomas Banks was headed by sophomore forward Mark Verso. Verso headed the ball, which skimmed off the crossbar, to Snashall for the winning tally.

"We needed somebody to be there to tap it in," St. Francis Coach Glen Appels said. "Luckily, we had Connor there.

"We always talk about how there are no easy games in this league and we understood that. We understood the seriousness of it at halftime, when we were down [1-0]. Lost points in this league are hard to get back."

Notre Dame (3-9-2, 0-3) took a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot by Kaivon Razavi in the 37th minute. A St. Francis defender tripped up a Notre Dame player in the goal box, warranting a penalty shot. Razavi, a junior midfielder, beat St. Francis goalkeeper Paul Dean with a shot inside the left post.

The Golden Knights, who opened league with victories against Harvard-Westlake, Crespi and Alemany, knotted the match at 1 when Verso headed in a beautiful cross from junior midfielder Derek Bell in the 46th minute.

St. Francis had 13 shots on goal, including eight in the second half.

St. Francis competed without senior forward Eric Verso for the second straight match. Appels said Verso, a former All-Area Player of the Year, is nursing a strained hamstring and might return when the Golden Knights next compete against Chaminade at 5 p.m. Thursday in a league home match.

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