DALLAS – When a team like Dallas relies so heavily on one player, the supporting cast often doesn't get the deserved recognition.
The Mountaineers girls' soccer team sought to end this inequity with outstanding performances from its unsung players in a 6-0 victory over Coughlin in the first round of the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
Dallas advances to the semi-finals where it will face the winner of Scranton Prep and Western Wayne. Ruby Mattson scored two key second-half goals, and Ashley Strazdus contributed with three assists for the Mountaineers.
I think it's very nice that other girls besides Ashley Dunbar stepped up, Dallas coach Abe Lewis said. A lot of our younger girls had really outstanding games today.
Dunbar, Dallas' leading scorer and one of the top players in the league, finished with three goals. Coughlin's defense held Dunbar in check through the first 30 minutes, forcing Lewis to move her to the mid-back slot.
The game stood evenly matched in the first half. The Mountaineers scored the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute when Strazdus set a through-ball to Dunbar. Dunbar maneuvered around a Crusader defender and tinged the far cross bar for a goal.
Two of Dunbar's three scores came in the waning minutes when the Crusaders were pressing offensively.
Basically she was playing up top, not getting much, Lewis said. But then we moved her back to calm the game down and keep everything under control. And then she got those two late goals – she wasn't exactly trying to score. We put her up for defensive cover. They were pretty much breakthroughs.
The sixth-seeded Crusaders (10-4-2) finished a positive year after losing the majority of their spring roster to graduation. Coughlin boasts a strong freshmen class, led by Mary Tona, Hailee Dumont and Breanne Georgette, and fielded just two seniors on its roster this year.
Coughlin's Nora Fazzi and Amber Callerhan were unable to play in the first round match.
We had all of our freshmen out there, Coughlin coach Joe Spagnuolo said. We played with mostly all underclassmen. I think the positive thing is that we never quit. We played the whole 80 minutes. I'm very happy with their attitudes. We'll be back. We'll definitely be back in the coming years.
Likewise, Dallas' young roster started off slowly. Seventy-five percent of the Mountaineers (15-1) starting roster played in its first playoff game.
Actually, our team is very young this year, Lewis noted. People don't realize that we only have three seniors on the field and no juniors to start off. I really start almost all sophomores and freshmen across the midfield and the outside backs.
It took them some time to get settled.
Dallas scored its second goal on a beautiful set-up by Strazdus and Tiffany Zukosky in the 43rd minute. Strazdus broke away and crossed to Zukowsky on the far side. Zukowsky passed back to Mattson, who fired a shot from 20 yards out that narrowly escaped the goalkeeper's reach.
First half: 1. DAL, Ashley Dunbar (Ashley Strazdus), 32nd minute
Second half: 1. DAL, Katie Snedeker, 43rd; 2. DAL, Ruby Mattson (Tess Macarty), 61st; 3. DAL, Mattson (Strazdus), 63rd; 4. DAL, Dunbar, 66th; 5. DAL, Dunbar (Strazdus), 76th
Shots: COU 6, DAL 21; Saves: COU 7 (Jasmine Barretto/Julia Miller), DAL 4 (Sydney Emershaw/Abrianna Tollomello); Corners: COU 2, DAL 1.
Julie Hutsko scored two goals and had one assist in the Lake-Lehman victory in the District 2 Class AA Quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.
Allie Barber scored the lone goal for Pittston Area.
Second half: 1. PIT, Allie Barber, 43:12; 2. LL, Shoshana Mahoney (Julie Hutsko), 54:15; 3. LL, Hutsko, 60:12; 4. LL, Hutsko, 68:59
Shots: LL 14, PIT 10; Saves: LL 6 (Amelia Jenkins), PIT 8 (Jordan Cumbo); Corners: LL 3, PIT 4
Alexis Pileggi had one goal and one assist in the Wyoming Valley West loss in the first round of the AAA Playoffs.
|Wyoming Valley West||0||0||—||0|
First half: 1. WILL, Olivia Mendler (Devon Mendler), 31:55; 2. WILL, Amy Southard (penalty kick), 20:45;
Second half: 3. WVW, Carissa Bevan (Alexis Pileggi), 31:29; 4. WILL, Erica Ludwikowski, 14:50; 5. WVW, Pileggi (Caitlyn Hargrove), 10:06
Shots: WILL 13, WVW 10; Saves: WILL 4 (Riley Gossnar), WVW 7 (Paige Heckman); Corners: WILL 4, WVW 2.
Bridgette Orlando, Karliegh Hartman and Olivia Konklin each had one goal to lead Berwick to the win in the Class AA Quarterfinals.
Berwick advances to host Lake-Lehman on Monday at Berwick.
First half: 1. BER, Bridgette Orlando (Karen Boone), 25:11; 2. BER, Karliegh Hartman (Carly Montecalvo), 5:24
Second half: 3. BER, Olivia Konklin (Brianna Floryshak), 36:34
Shots: VV 2, BER 17; Saves: VV 9 (Jessica Nguyen), BER 3 (Allison Rinehimer); Corners: VV 0, BER 10.