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Allen Park Cabrini tops rival Riverview Gabriel Richard in season opener PHOTO GALLERY

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It was the season opener for a pair of Catholic League rivals on Tuesday, and the first game for a pair of first-year head coaches. Allen Park Cabrini head coach Taleb Karaouni is inheriting a team that has won back-to-back district titles. Riverview Gabriel Richard head coach Pedro Hernandez is leading a team that returns nearly all of its players from a season ago.

These two proved to be a good measuring stick for each other in the season opener, but it was the Monarchs of Cabrini topping Richard 3-1 and starting the year off on the right foot.

Cabrini dominated the pitch for almost all of the first half and well into the second half, constantly putting pressure on Hernandez and his Pioneers. They got the scoring started just under 13 minutes into the first half with a goal from defenseman Meghan Bolinger.

The Monarchs stretched their lead very early in the latter 40 minutes thanks to a pair of goals from Gabriella Teems. Her first tally came via a penalty shot. The second scratch came on a corner kick she took. A loose ball in front of the net went off the hands of Pioneers goalkeeper Tanya Moaikel and trickled in, pushing the Cabrini lead to 3-0.

The Monarchs' bid for a shutout ended inside 20 minutes to go when Richard midfielder Sarah Crowell lobbed one over Cabrini keeper Abigail Burke. That wrapped up the scoring for both sides on the day.

Karaouni after the game talked about how please he was from his team all-around on Tuesday.

"I'm very proud," Karaouni said. "We only had 10 days of soccer to practice and for them to come out and play with a lot of smarts was very promising. And we're only going to get better. Everybody was phenomenal, from A to Z."

Despite being in awe of his team's performance, Karaouni also shared what he saw during that late push in the game from Richard.

"I went over that with them specifically after the game," Karaouni said. "We let (Richard) score and they were able to take all the momentum from us there for a bit. But we were able to regain it in a timely manner and for that I'm very proud."

That late-game spurt is certainly something Richard head coach Pedro Hernandez can use as a stepping stone towards his team's next game.

"We tried to send our defense higher up the field," Hernandez said. "We tried to narrow it down and not stretch it out so much. That allowed our midfielders to go up and press and ultimately apply more pressure."

"I think our biggest threat is playing a possession style of soccer," Hernandez added, talking about looking ahead to future games. "It can take a minute to get to that when you're trying to change the style. But I'm very proud of the team so far, we're a very young team and only going to get better."

These two teams will not meet again until May 8 at Cabrini High School.

Last Updated: 3/28/2017 11:39:23 PM EST

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