By MIKE MURPHY
MECHANICSBURG —- Great Valley senior star Brittany Edwards' Saturday was done by halftime as she scored seven first-half goals as the Patriots steamrolled Danville, 20-2 in the PIAA quarterfinals at Cumberland Valley High School.
Great Valley (20-4) moves on to play District 1 champion Springfield (Delco) in the semifinals on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The two played in the District 1 playoffs with Springfield coming away with a convincing 19-11 victory.
Danville's (14-1) downfall was an inability to win draws as Great Valley took control on every draw and spending a lot of time in the offensive zone. Despite controlling most of the draws early on, the Patriots were unable to convert the chances into goals in the first three minutes.
"We wanted to come out and try to establish the game right away and not give them a whole lot of life,' said Grat Valley coach Joe Tornetta. "Fortunately we were able to get the possessions in the beginning. We weren't able to finish at the start of the game, but the kids kept getting the possessions and did a good job in transition defense. We kept the ball until we finally got things rolling.'
Edwards felt some urgency as she stepped up to score twice in the first five minutes to give her team a lead that they would not surrender.
"We realized the stage we were on and that we needed to come out and play our game,' said Edwards. "We had some rough points in the beginning where we took too many shots. Once we calmed down and gained focus, we were able to play our game and finish.'
The first half could be best described as the Edwards Show as she put on a goal-scoring clinic.
The Patriots held a 6-0 advantage when she scored five consecutive times in a six-minute span to effectively salt away the game.
Edwards, a first-team All-Ches-Mont League midfielder and an All-American, took over from Henderson's Katue O'Donnell as the area's leading goal scorer (139-133).
"Edwards been a catalyst for us all year,' said Tornetta. "She's an All-American for a reason. She's a solid kid along with being a fantastic player for us.'
Great Valley's goalie Mia Tornetta was seeing a whole lot of work as Danville had trouble breaking past mifield. The Iron Men did not get a shot off the 15-minute mark of the first half. They would only have offensive possession of the ball for a total of three minutes in the first half. Danville was held scorless until Liz Pavis dented the net nine seconds before the break. The Patriots outmatched the younger team in speed, talent, and experience.
"You only have so many tricks up your sleeve, especially when you are used to a certain level of play,' said Danville coach Carlene Klena. "We only have two seniors and the majority of the starters are sophomores so they felt intimidated out there. The speed of the play is completely different from what these girls are used to. They are used to being able to manipulate the ball the ball at a certain pace and guard a defender at a certain pace.'
The Patriots' dominant possessions started with their ability to win nearly every draw. Great Valley's players outhustled and outworked Danville on every draw.
"Our goal on the draws is to get everyone off the line and today everyone focused really well,' Edwards said. "We waited for the whistle, got off the line and hustled to the ball.'
Klena tried different player combinations to gain more control of the ball, but was frustrated by their lack of success.
"I threw a couple of different people out there to take the draw,' she said. "The inexperience of my players combined with the level of play Great Valley possesses was our ultimate downfall'.
Great Valley 20, Danville 2
Danville 1 1-- 2
Great Valley 16 4---20
Danville goals: Pavis, Vastine.
Great Valley goals: Edwards 7, Cortese 2 , Muscella 2, Miller 2, Hughes, Aker, Lionetti, D'Ginto, Knaff, DeHaven, Keith.
Goalie saves: Spotts (D) 7, Edwards (D) 4; Tornetta (GV) 2, Boyle (GV) 1.