Girls soccer beats undefeated Bears
The Parkland football team is getting a lot of attention because of its defense. But there’s another Trojan team that has just as impressive of a run.
The Parkland girls soccer team scored two goals in each half to defeat Pleasant Valley 4-0 last Tuesday night at Parkland High School. The Trojans (10-0 overall, 9-0 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) remained undefeated while giving the Bears (8-1-1) their first loss of the season. In the shutout, Parkland has now won its last eight games without giving up a goal. A 3-1 victory over Emmaus in the opening game and a 2-1 win against Governor Mifflin were the only two matches that the Trojans gave up a goal.
“I have to give our girls that come off the bench [on defense] a lot of credit,” said head coach Al Haddad. “They gave up those two goals, but since then they have played hard to not let that happen again.
“At halftime tonight, I even said that the most important thing besides leaving the field healthy, is leaving with a zero on the board for them. They were able to accomplish that, and I’m proud of them. That’s the foundation of our program for the last 9-10 years.”
It was a matchup of the lone unbeaten teams in the league, but from the get-go, the Trojans looked the better team. They created several chances and controlled much of the possession in the first half.
Parkland out-shot Pleasant Valley 8-0 over the first 40 minutes. Bears goalie Mikayla Miller did her best to keep her team in it, making several saves.
But the Trojans eventually got their breakthrough.
Devyn Anderson dribbled the ball up the right sideline and crossed it in front of the goal. Her pass found the head of senior Emily Piston, who directed the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Piston ended up with a bloody nose for her effort.
“Once we get warm and into the game, our passes get better and we start moving up the field better,” Piston said. “I saw Devyn running down the field, so I knew I had to get inside the box. When the ball was in the air, I felt my defender behind me, so I knew I could get on the end of the cross and just direct it in. And once we get the first one, everyone gets more uplifted and the game flows better for us.”
The Trojans got another goal 16 minutes later thanks to some unselfish play.
Jenna Leonzi received a pass at the top of the 18. The junior had nobody around her, but instead of shooting, she decided to pass to open teammate Becca Ventura, who slotted it home for a two-goal lead at halftime.
“We practice all the time on passing the ball and finding feet,” said Haddad. “I want the girls to be technically sound. The ball moves faster down the field when it is being passed to teammates.”
Senior Rachel Medlar and freshman Ava Schaller both tallied goals in the second half, and Kali Lauer added an assist.
“It’s a good win for us to get against the second best team in the league,” said Piston. “They’re a good team and this gives us a lot of confidence that we can play with anybody in our league.”