Damsels derailed in playoffs
JOHNSTOWN – The Moshannon Valley High School girls soccer team just never got its offense in gear on Tuesday evening in the District 6 Class A quarterfinals against Richland.
The sixth-seeded Damsels registered one shot in the game as they fell to the Lady Rams, 1-0, in Mo Valley’s first playoff game since the program’s inception in 2000.
Still, Moshannon Valley coach Matt Kephart said his players should hold their heads high after setting the new school wins record before playing in their regular-season finale today.
“It is just the beginning,” Kephart said. “Wait until next year. We have a pile of girls coming up in eighth grade. Our junior high team went 5-1 this year, and the one loss they had to play down. We have talent coming up.
“I don’t want to take anything away from the girls this year. I’ve been telling them all year it’s the first year [going to playoffs] for them, and there’s going to be many more to come, especially for the underclassmen. I’m really excited.”
The Lady Rams got their lone goal with just under 11 minutes to go in the game. Richland junior midfielder Nicole Miller found forward Allison Patula from the middle of the field. Patula got through a couple of Mo Valley defenders and drilled the ball past the Mo Valley keeper to break the scoreless tie.
Richland just missed a goal moments earlier as Karissa Wellington’s shot banged off the crossbar. The ball bounced back to another Lady Ram, but the rebound sailed high of the goal to keep the match scoreless.
“I think I actually blacked out right there,” Kephart said. “I think my heart stopped. Moments like that are exciting when the ball is bouncing in front of the net. We wish we could’ve had it bounce around in front of their net a little bit more today.”
Brita Campbell recorded the lone shot for the Damsels five minutes into the second half.
“It’s different playing on turf,” Kephart said. “It’s our second time playing on turf all year. It’s our first time playing in the playoffs. It’s the first time to get this many wins. It’s a lot of firsts tonight.”
Goalkeeper Brittany Oliver recorded 17 saves for the Damsels, who fell to 8-8-1 on the season.
“Brittany was our MVP today,” Kephart said. “That’s without a doubt. This was her best game of the year, and what a day to come up.”
“[Oliver] played beautifully. Our defense played beautifully. Our midfield played beautifully. It’s just one of those days where we left it all out on the field and we came up just short. That’s the way it happens sometimes.”
Richland, which is the No. 3 seed, will face second-seeded West Branch on Thursday at a site and time to be determined.
Mo Valley finishes its season tonight hosting Grier School for senior night.
SCORE BY HALVES
Moshannon Valley0 0 – 0
Richland0 1 – 1
Second Half: R-Patula (Miller), 69:04.
Shots: Moshannon Valley 1, Richland 21. Saves: Moshannon Valley (Brittany Oliver) 17, Richland (Courtney Syfert) 1.
Corner Kicks: Moshannon Valley 0, Richland 4.