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Goal by exchange student caps Monroe's District soccer victory

Exchange student Chiara (14) is mobbed by her Monroe teammates after scoring on a penalty kick during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.
Exchange student Chiara (14) is mobbed by her Monroe teammates after scoring on a penalty kick during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.

Thursday was the last day of classes for seniors at Monroe High.

Chiara Bruno
Chiara Bruno

Soon exchange student Chiara Bruno will be headed back to Italy.

She will take home a lot of great memories, including the first soccer goal of her life.

Photo Gallery: Lincoln Park at Monroe District soccer

That came Thursday as the final tally in an 8-0 victory over Lincoln Park in the opening round of the Division 1 District Tournament Monroe is hosting.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve ever played soccer.”

Soccer is the No. 1 sport in Italy, but not many girls play.

“Soccer is huge there,” Bruno said. “Everyone I know loves soccer, but it’s hard to find girls who play. I always wanted to play when I was younger, but I never did.”

When Bruno came to the United States as an exchange student this year, one of the things she wanted to try was soccer.

“Today was the last day of school,” she said. “It’s an exciting day. “

Monroe coach Ryan Charnock wore a wide smile on his face as he talked about Bruno.

Monroe's Chiara Bruno (right) gets advice from Monroe teammate Anna Tedora before attempting a penalty shot against Lincoln Park during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.
Monroe's Chiara Bruno (right) gets advice from Monroe teammate Anna Tedora before attempting a penalty shot against Lincoln Park during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.

“She doesn’t get to play as a girl in Italy,” he said. “Only boys play. It’s been such a wonderful thing to have her on the team. She brings so much joy.”

When Lincoln Park was called for a foul in the goal box early in the second half of Thursday’s game, Monroe had the opportunity to choose anyone to take the penalty kick.

The players immediately pointed to Bruno.

“The girls did that,” Charnock said.

You could see some anxiety on Bruno’s face as she lined up for the penalty kick.

Teammate Anna Tedora walked over and put her arm around the exchange student and offered some words of advice.

Exchange student Chiara Bruno takes a penalty kick during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.
Exchange student Chiara Bruno takes a penalty kick during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.

“I was really nervous,” Bruno admitted. “She told me to just shoot it.”

And Bruno did, beating the goalkeeper cleanly to end the game by mercy rule and touch off an emotional celebration.

“This is the best experience,” Bruno said.

Monroe was in control all afternoon.

Monroe's Anna Tedora scores against Lincoln Park goalkeeper Camila Hernandez during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.
Monroe's Anna Tedora scores against Lincoln Park goalkeeper Camila Hernandez during Monroe's 8-0 win in a Division 1 District game at Monroe Thursday.

Claire Charnock scored the first two goals, then Alexis McMahon, Anna Tedora, Kyleigh Carter, and Brooke Trouten found the back net.

Lincoln Park also had an own-goal.

Tedora was credited with two assists and Charnock and Emily Eshenroder added one each.

“We played really good,” Charnock said. “We improved some of our patterns of play.”

The Trojans will take an 8-11-2 record into Tuesday’s District semifinal game at home against Woodhaven.

“They are No. 1 in our District,” Charnock said. “It will be tough competition.”

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Goal by exchange student caps Monroe's District soccer victory