The Upper St. Clair High School girls soccer team played former sectional foe Montour last Thursday (9/6/12) evening in their 2012 home opener.
From the start, it was apparent that the Montour Spartans had plans to implement a defensive strategy focused on shutting down the Lady Panther offense. At times throughout the first half, the Spartans had all 11 players within 30 yards of their own goal, packing it in to frustrate the Panther offense. Eventually, with less than a minute remaining in the first half, USC broke through and scored off a cross from Olivia Belack to Brianna Erdman for the goal.
After the half, Coach Dave Gray made some tactical changes to press the defensive minded Montour team. By placing his players in more offensive roles and working the ball outside, the girls scored two more times. Carley Bogan scored her second goal of the season off of a deflection, a byproduct of the team’s constant offensive pressure. The third and final goal came off of a solid shot by Emma Hasco, assisted by Ellie DiNardo, bringing the final score to 3–0. The shutout goes to senior goalkeeper Jocelyn Alfera, with support from the defensive backfield of Heather Godwin, Sami Lackner and Julia de la Parra. The JV team also claimed victory over Montour by a score of 1-0.
This past Wednesday evening, just down the street from Sarris Candies, the girls began their sectional schedule against perennially tough Canon-McMillan.
In the opening 10 minutes the girls seemed a bit rusty from a week off due to a rainout. Canon-Mac maintained much of the possession to start the game but the defense was resilient and prevented any good scoring opportunities. The first half ended in a 0-0 tie, as did the second half.
During the second half they play was a bit more wide open and the Panthers found their game, generating more chances, meanwhile Jocelyn Alfera made a nice save midway during the half to prevent a goal which was would have been the difference maker. The defensive unit of Heather Godwin, Sami Lackner and Sammi Witsberger helped to give USC their second straight shutout.
Throughout regulation both teams had their moments and the crowd felt the game could go either way. As overtime began, both teams felt they had a chance to win the game. Then suddenly, only a few minutes into play, Carley Bogan controlled the ball at midfield and delivered a pass to Olivia Belack, who was running with pace down the outside of the field. Olivia beat her defender then delivered the victory with a nicely placed shot that the keeper would not have a chance to stop.
The JV girls also won again for their third straight 1-0 victory.
The girls' next game is Saturday at home versus Bethel Park, in what is expected to be a very difficult opponent. Saturday is Youth Day as well at the stadium. Admission is FREE to all kids wearing their rec or travel jerseys to the boys or girls game. All games are against Bethel Park.
Saturday (9/15) at USC Stadium: Girls JV – 1PM, Girls Varsity – 2:30, Boys JV – 5:00, Boys Varsity – 6:30.