The third time was almost the charm for the Parkland Trojans in the PIAA quarterfinals, but they were unable to hang on to a late lead and fell to St. Joe's Prep 34-30. It marked the third straight season that the Trojans made it to the quarterfinals, but it was also the third straight season that they were eliminated at that point. It was also the second straight season that the Hawks were the ones to eliminate Parkland.
The first three times that Parkland and Whitehall girls met on the soccer field this season, Parkland came out on top. The fourth and final time that they would meet, it was Whitehall that took advantage of a slow first-half to pick up a 1-0 win in the District 11 semifinals, advancing to play Nazareth for the district championship.
The Parkland soccer team was hoping to become the first Class AAA boys team to repeat as District 11 Champions since it accomplished the feat back in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately for the Trojans, that didn't happen as Southern Lehigh, the sixth-seeded team in the tournament, downed Parkland 2-0. The Trojans came in as the second-seed.
With just over 10 minutes gone in the first half, the Spartans' Ryan Fowler took a pass from Alex Sabram and poked it past goalkeeper Evan Bleiler for the first score of the game.
In its last two games, the Parkland girls soccer team could have saved a lot of time and energy by just going straight to penalty kicks. In both of those games, the Lady Trojans toiled through 100 minutes of soccer, only to have the game decided on penalty kicks, and on both occasions, they came out on top.
The Parkland Lady Trojans came into their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinal game with Emmaus as the only team to have scored against the Hornets in two games this season. They were also the only team to put a dent in the Hornets record when they played them to a 1-1 tie in the first regular season meeting between the two teams. Unfortunately, they weren't able to cash in either of those two accomplishments and lost to Emmaus 6-1 in Tuesday's semifinals.
While Emmaus and Parkland were battling against each other in their two regular season games this season, they were also playing on the same team in helping raise money and awareness for cancer research. More specifically, the two teams were helping 2011 Emmaus grad Andrew Schaefer, who is fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Schaefer has somewhat of a bond to both teams, since he played under both Parkland coach Patrick Birns and Emmaus coach John Cari when the two were on the same staff at Emmaus.