Madeira's first-half goal gives girls win over Zephs
Parkland girls soccer coach Al Haddad made a late first-half substitution during Tuesday's district semifinal match against Whitehall, putting freshman Lauren Madeira onto the field.
Little did anyone know the impact that would have minutes later.
Tied 1-1 late in the first half of play, Madeira connected on a goal with 1:02 left in the first half that gave the Trojans a one-goal lead. The No. 4 seedeTrojans went on to win by a score of 2-1 against the No. 9 seed Zephyrs on Tuesday in the District 11 Class AAA girls soccer semifinals at Emmaus High School.
"What's great about this group is they know at any given moment they can be a contributor to the team," Haddad said. "Here's a girl who hadn't played in a couple games, but continues to work extremely hard at practice every day. She got her opportunity, and made the most of it."
"I just saw an opportunity in front of me, and I saw a lot of space," Madeira said. "I just took the shot."
The Trojans got on the scoreboard first, roughly midway through the first half. Rachel Medlar found Chelsea Hudson, who fired a shot just under the crossbar to put the Trojans ahead 1-0 with 16:56 to play in the half.
"It just feels really good knowing I can contribute to [the win]," Madeira said.
Whitehall's Kylee Cunningham responded just minutes before halftime to tie the game back up. Madison Walker positioned a lob pass over the Trojans' defensive line, and Cunningham directed her shot into the back of the net with 6:27 remaining in the half.
Madeira and the Trojans wasted no time responding. Madeira's goal came 5:25 later and proved to be the game-winning score.
"I think in the first half, we had three or four golden opportunities that we didn't put away," Haddad said.
After they combined for three goals in the first half, both teams were held out of goal in the final 40 minutes.
The Zephyrs, however, had a number of chances at recording the equalizer in the second half. With 10:35 remaining, a deep free kick from Kourtney Cunningham sailed a few feet above the crossbar. Four minutes later, Cunningham had another opportunity on goal, but her shot from the left side was saved by Trojan goalkeeper Regan Allsop.
The Zephyrs had one final shot with roughly 2:30 remaining. They had the ball in front of the Trojans' goal being kicked around, but they were never able to produce a solid shot on goal.
"They had really only one scary opportunity, and that was the ball bobbling in the box there," Haddad said. "Otherwise, everything was long range, and you're not going to score on a six-foot goalkeeper on long range shots.
Allsop, who has now started the past two games in goals for the Trojans after an injury to the team's starter, recorded 18 saves in the district semifinal.
The Trojans defeated No. 5 seed Nazareth in the district quarterfinals, 1-0, to set up a rematch of last season's district finals.