York Catholic's PIAA run ends
Silver Spring Township — Some days you just run into a better team.
Unfortunately that happened to York Catholic when the Fighting Irish fell to Warrior Run, 3-0, in the PIAA Class A girls' soccer quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at sunny and windy Eagle View Middle School.
The loss ends York Catholic's season at 15-6.
"That's a really good team that beat us today. They're No. 1 in the state for a reason," York Catholic head coach Joe Nattans said. "They move the ball well, and they're a very physical team. We knew it would be tough coming in."
The Irish's chances weren't helped when star striker Liz Johnson had to leave the match just five minutes in with a right leg injury. Johnson returned six minutes later but was hampered by the injury for the rest of the match. She was visibly slower than usual and walked with a noticeable limp.
The match stayed scoreless for the first 21 minutes with neither side recording as much as a shot on net until Olivia George put her team in front with a diving header off an assist from Erika Landis with 18:24 left until halftime
"Erika and I have a special connection that I can't really explain. She knows where I like the ball, and she puts it there," George said. "She played the ball to me there, and I knew I had to go get it."
York Catholic had its best opportunity to score in the match go by the boards when Defenders' keeper Madi Welliver denied Melanie Matthews' go at goal at the 8:53 mark of the opening half.
Trailing by a goal, the Irish shifted to a more offensive formation after halftime, and Johnson registered a shot on goal less than two minutes into the second half. It was also swallowed up by Welliver.
George doubled the Defenders' lead when she scored off an assist from Gabby Heiss with 31:29 to play on a cross from the left that drew York Catholic keeper Amelia Strayer off her line. As Strayer crept out to the play the cross, George snuck behind her and redirected it into the net.
An unassisted tally by George that followed a failed clear gave her a second hat trick in the last three matches and upped her season total to 14 goals. That came with 16:33 left in the match.
"We did what we could in the first half to keep them away from the goal," Nattans said. "In the second half, we had to try to score. We changed our formation, and that opened things up for them more."
Warrior Run (21-1-2) held a 7-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 4-0 edge in corners
"We pressed hard right from the start and created a lot of chances for ourselves," Warrior Run head coach Jen Allen said. "Our girls were stepping to the ball well and winning most of them."
Warrior Run _1 _2 — _3
York Catholic _0 _0 — _0
First Half — 1. WR, Olivia George (Erika Landis), 18:24.
Second Half — 2. WR, George (Gabby Heiss), 31:29. 3. WR, George, 16:33.
Shots on Goal —WR 7, YC 2; Corners — WR 4, YC 0; Goalies — WR, Madi Welliver (2 saves), YC, Amelia Strayer (5 saves)