WHITEHALL — In a battle of two, state-playoff tested teams, Tulpehocken played tremendous defense, controlled the midfield and generated enough quality chances to knock in a pair of goals to earn a 2-0 win over Christopher Dock in a PIAA Class A State Quarterfinal matchup Saturday afternoon at Whitehall High School.
The Pioneers, District 1 champs for the third year in a row and 3-2 winners over Conwell Egan in the first round of states, came up a win short of duplicating last year's trip to the state semis.
"We played not to lose,' Dock coach Ray Hess said. "They were able to put pressure on us and we weren't going to the ball, weren't able to connect. We did have a couple chances but you have to take advantage of the chances you get.'
Tulpehocken, District 3 champions for the second straight time and state quarterfinalists for the second year in a row, advance to Tuesday's state semis to face Southern Columbia.
It is the Trojans' first trip to the state semis since they reached the Class AA final four in 2009.
"I think the whole key today was that we played a complete game,' Trojans coach Paul Zerbe said. "They had a couple forwards who were very fast and did get a couple looks, but for the most part we limited their chances and the midfield was very solid.'
Speedy Bailey Kratz, who scored the overtime winner in the District 1 Final and a two-goal scorer in the win over Egan, came close on a couple occasions to tying the game for Dock, but the Trojans were able to hold onto the lead.
Tulpehocken took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Lauren Frantz, who volleyed a high shot past keeper Emily Gordon with 12 minutes to play in the first half.
Jamie Fisher, the hero for Tulpehocken in the District 3 Final when she made three big saves for the Trojans to survive penalty kicks, made three saves to earn the shutout for Tulpehocken.
The Trojans, now 22-2 on the season, got an insurance goal from Myriah Troutman with seven minutes to play, clinching the trip to the semis.
"I would say it's an experienced group,' Zerbe said, playfully understating his veteran lineup, which includes 10 seniors. "It's a good group of girls and now we get ready for the next round. It comes up quick.'
Dock will return the bulk of its roster as it aims for a deeper push into states next fall.
"We have a good nucleus coming back,' Hess said. "We have to work on our consistency. This year, we had a lot of ups and downs. We have to learn how to play with a greater sense of urgency if we are to go further.'
Christopher Dock 0
Christopher Dock 0 0 - 0
Tulpehocken 1 1 - 2
T: Lauren Frantz, 12:46
T: Myriah Troutman, 7:12
Shots: Tulpehocken 12; Dock 6
Saves: Jamie Fisher (T) 3; Emily Gordon (CD) 7
Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10
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