Montour downs Lady Tigers

HollidaysburgvsMontour _3Gsoc HHS 22 makes a sliding steal from MHS (L) 17 Alex Faith Hollidaysburg vs Montour Girls 3A PIAA soccer playoffs 11-8-16 Photo for the Mirror Ed Lee

A week ago, the Hollidaysburg Lady Tigers were celebrating their first District 6 soccer championship in nine years.

Today, they’re putting their equipment away and thinking about next season.

WPIAL runner-up Montour ushered Hollidaysburg to the sidelines Tuesday, blanking the Lady Tigers, 3-0, in a PIAA Class 3A first-round game at Mansion Park.

In postgame remarks to his team, Hollidaysburg coach Dave Soellner said the Lady Tigers had not faced many teams the caliber of Montour.

“They possessed the ball very well,” Soellner said. “We got caught chasing them instead of holding our marks like we worked on (in practice) this week.

“When you do that, and start chasing them, it comes back to bite you.”

Except for an early opportunity by Hollidaysburg, which went astray, Montour dominated the action, pushing over a pair of first-half goals and tacking on another early in the second half.

Montour’s Molly Marcinko scored on a rebound to get the Spartans on the board with 25:49 left in the half. At the 16:00 mark, Samantha White scored on a direct kick from 20 yards out to make it 2-0.

Early in the second half, Montour’s Cassandra Schiffhauer booted a 20-yarder over the head of Tiger keeper Meghan Cutshall into the back of the net to close the scoring.

“We did well,” Montour coach Lee Coughenour said. “I was curious to see how we’d respond after the loss to Moon (1-0 in the WPIAL finals), but they played well and I was pleased.

“We’ve got a deep team — we’re 18 deep — and we like to possess the ball as much as we can,” Coughenour continued. “We kind of abandoned that the last game, and that was our focus tonight — pass the ball and take good shots.”

The Lady Tigers did not have a shot on goal in the second half as the Lady Spartans played most of the 40-minute session on Hollidaysburg’s side of the field.

With the game less than 3 minutes old, Hollidaysburg scoring ace Sydney Routch got behind Montour’s backline but couldn’t connect. Dodging that bullet seemingly was all that Montour needed.

“If we could have connected on that first opportunity, in the first 3 minutes, it might have been a different game,” Soellner said.

“I said all week if we could get a quick goal, we’d make some changes and try to strengthen up our defense to prevent them from getting shots,” he said. “(But) it’s hard to do, when you miss opportunities like that.”

Hollidaysburg finished the year with a 11-6-2 record.

“It’s been an up and down all year, and all I can hope is they grow from it,” Soellner said. “We started all underclassmen and we have some incoming freshmen who can help out, so I’m very excited about what’s coming back and excited about the opportunities these girls have.

“It’s  been nine years since we won the districts, and we were finally able to get through and win it. Now, we’ll work on defending it.”

Now 18-3-3 (all three losses to Moon), Montour will face Villa Maria in a quarterfinal game on Saturday. Villa Maria won the 2A state title last year.

SCORE BY HALVES

Montour    2  1 — 3

Hollidaysburg    0  0 — 0

First half: M–Marcinko (Scanlon), 25:49; M –White (unassisted), 16:00.

Second half: M–C. Schiffhauer (unassisted), 35:00.

Records: Montour (18-3-3); Hollidaysburg (11-6-2).

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