Girls soccer stays perfect
Parkland spent much of the first half of its game against Northwestern attacking the Tigers goal, but came away empty thanks to some acrobatics by goalkeeper McKenna Amey. In the end though, the Trojans kept their undefeated record intact with a 3-0 win over Northwestern in Monday’s non-conference game.
“The trouble was the speed in which they played balls forward and they have some nice players and they controlled it for one or two passes,” said Parkland head coach Al Haddad. “They did a really good job of playing those dangerous balls, but we’re quite used to teams trying to play over the top on us, so our girls do a really good job of defending that.”
With 6:59 left in the first half, Parkland (15-0-0 EPC, 17-0-0 overall) was awarded a free kick taken by Brooke Schutter, who fired the ball into the upper corner of the net just out of the reach of Amey to put Parkland up 1-0.
At halftime, Northwestern (9-1-1 Colonial, 14-2-1 overall) regrouped and came out on the attack, pushing much of the play into Parkland’s defensive zone early in the half. Just 25 seconds into the half, Northwestern got its first shot on goal, but senior goalie Julia Buchman was able to tip it over the crossbar, leaving Northwestern with its first corner opportunity of the night and allowing the Tigers to keep pressuring Parkland.
“That was a blistering shot,” said Haddad. “She had no chance for a drop step on that. She just reacted and carried it over the top. It all started on a bad ball by us, a flat pass started that entire sequence and so I look at it as what we did wrong that led to them taking that next minute-and-a-half and them gaining some confidence. It took us a while to regroup and then we controlled the flow of the game.”
Eventually, the Trojans’ depth started to wear down the Tigers on a hot, steamy night. Helen Flynn fired a shot past Amey with 17:55 left to play to put Parkland up 2-0.
“It was on a corner kick and Kali [Lauer] crossed it in and I hit it off of my hip and the girl on the far post thought the goalie was going to get it,” said Flynn. “The goalie thought the other girl was going to get it and it went between them. Once we start getting goals, our confidence builds and we seem to communicate better and start finding feet and getting momentum for ourselves.”
“Any time you’re at a 1-0 game, that next goal is a tough one because the momentum changes dramatically,” said Haddad. “We lost Ava Hanna to another ACL tear and she’s the second leading scorer and she took a lot of pressure off of Brooke [Schutter], because if you doubled up on Brooke, we just slipped it to Ava and she just ripped things. Girls stepped up tonight in the forward position to really help that cause, so we’re happy with that.”
Just 2:16 after Flynn’s goal, Gabby Wilby put one past Amey to make it a 3-0 game to seal the win.
Parkland wraps up the regular season tonight against Whitehall, having already clinched a spot in both the EPC and District 11 playoffs. The Lady Trojans are guaranteed of coming into the conference playoffs as the top seed, which will guarantee them a home game in the quarterfinals on Saturday. As of now, the lower part of the seedings aren’t set, but their opener will likely be against either Freedom, Liberty or Northampton.