Fairfield girls' soccer wins PIAA title
On the biggest stage, trying to do something never accomplished in school history, the Fairfield girls' soccer team did what it had done all season.
The Green Knights scored. Then they scored again. And then they scored some more.
Playing for the PIAA Class 1A championship, the Green Knights put a barrage of goals on District VII champion Shady Side in a dominant 9-4 win at Hersheypark Stadium on Friday. The victory gives Fairfield its first state team title in any sport in its history.
Having watched his team dismantle defenses all season and outscore opponents 18-3 in three previous state playoff games, head coach Phomma Phanhthy was not surprised by the result. But that didn't make the moment any less enjoyable for the second-year coach.
"It means everything for the my girls, everything for the community and the school, it's just been a phenomenal run," Phanhthy said. "I kind of thought we would (win big), I watched some of (Shady Side's) tapes and I noticed that they were never really being pressed. I thought the way that we kept pressing, I didn't expect nine, but I thought maybe five or six.
"The thing with our team, you give them a little bit of space, they're going to finish well."
Against the Indians, Fairfield got its scoring from the same players that have powered the offense all season. Star senior Hannah Logue capped her career with a two-goal, three-assist performance and freshman Nora Clarke came up huge with four goals. Freshman Annabel Anderson also scored twice while junior Moriah Logue added a goal and an assist.
Clarke has taken a backseat at times this season to Anderson and the Logue sisters, but on Friday she was in the center of everything.
"It actually surprised me," Clarke said of scoring four goals. "Normally we pass it around and switch it but I just kept getting goals. Knowing that I contributed to winning feels great."
Things seemed to go Fairfield's way right from the start. Five minutes in, Moriah Logue took a shot from about 20 yards out that was deflected and trickled by Shady Side goalie Alicia McMahon. That was just the beginning, as Clarke and Hannah Logue added goals in the next 10 minutes to give the Knights an early 3-0 lead.
The Indians cut the deficit to two by halftime, but Fairfield erupted for four goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half to put the game away. Shady Side scored three late goals, including two on penalty kicks, before the Green Knights added two more of their own in the final minute.
"I make sure (in practice) that they switch positions so they're prepared," Phanhthy said. "One day I'll put Nora out wide, one day I'll put Hannah or Annabel there. When they click, it's dangerous."
The Green Knight (25-1) finished the state playoffs with 27 goals in four games, including two nine-goal performances. They'll bring back nine starters next season.
"I didn't expect to score that many goals on them but we did what we were supposed to do," Hannah Logue said. "This team is so young and has so much room for improvement, it's exciting because I think they can do this for years to come."