Five days after an uplifting overtime victory against South Park in their last regular season game, the girls continued their winning ways with a 5-0 defeat of the Baldwin Highlanders. The South Park victory, on Oct. 15, was a true team effort capped off by a last second goal by Emma Hasco in the first overtime period.
The WPIAL playoffs began Saturday for the 7th seeded USC girls who drew the Baldwin squad that came into the draw as the 10th seed. Missing team captain Carley Bogan, the team spent the first half getting into their playoff form as neither team were able to score by halftime. USC had most of the possession and created the only real chances of note during the first 40 minutes of play.
The second half opened up with USC on their toes and ready to attack. Approximately 15 minutes into the second half, a Baldwin defender was injured during a USC corner kick, as a result she was forced to leave the game. The Lady Panthers took full advantage within the next 3 minutes by scoring 3 decisive goals that would doom the Highlanders. The first goal was knocked home by Brianna Erdman who had hustled to the front of the net to receive a cross from Emma Hasco. Moments later, Sami Lackner threaded a pass from midfield to Hasco, which Emma finished deftly. Then shortly thereafter, Hasco was at it again as she challenged a kick from the Baldwin goalkeeper that deflected off Emma and into the back of the net. By now, those in the stands that had left to get some hot chocolate had wished that there were replays on the scoreboard and Baldwin was wishing they could forget the previous 3 minutes. By now the momentum was all in the hands of the Panthers as about 5 minutes later Emma Hasco would complete her natural hat-trick off a corner kick delivered by Julia de la Parra. To cap the day’s scoring, Sami Lackner delivered a well-placed free-kick over the outstretched goalkeeper’s arms from about 40 yards out (that was Lackner’s third goal from a distant free kick this season).
The shutout was recorded by goalkeeper Jocelyn Alfera supported by defensive mid-fielders Rebekah Walsh, Sammi Witsberger and Emily Elliott along with the defensive backs Heather Godwin, Sami Lackner, Bailey Mielcusny, Julia de la Parra and Becca DiGregorio.
On Wednesday night the girls will play 2nd seeded Seneca Valley in the WPIAL quarterfinals at West Allegheny High School. The Seneca Valley Raiders are the Section 2-AAA champs and have an impressive record of 17-1 this season. Play your best tonight!