It was the one game on the regular season schedule that the Jim Thorpe girls' soccer team wanted to win in the worst way.
On Senior Night, the Olympians showed Weatherly that it was their game to win right from the start. Jim Thorpe controlled action on both sides of the ball throughout thecontest and ran away with a 6-0 victory.
"The kids were ready for this one," Jim Thorpe head coach Rich Emmert said. "This is the one they wanted. We always look forward to playing Weatherly because we're both basically the same skill level. This was a good chance for them to shine.
"And, if it's at home and we can win it, that's always what we want to do."
The Wreckers' junior goalkeeper Tracy Galada didn't make it too easy for the Olympians' offensive attack at first half. Throughout the first 16-minutes and 21-seconds of play, the Olympians attacked the Wreckers' net on seven different occasions and got off eight shots. However Galada, who has two shutouts to her credit, stopped every single one of them with ease.
With 23:39 left in the first half, a penalty kick became the first challenge for Galada. Jim Thorpe's Kristin Lawrence was injured on the play and set up a free scoring chance for her team. That left freshman Cat Condly to take the shot. Condly capitalized on the opportunity and beat Galada's to the lower backside of the net for the game's first goal.
The Olympians' went onto score three more goals the rest of the half, two of which came 45 seconds apart from each other.
"We have had that happen throughout the year," Shughart said. "As soon as we get down one it's hard to come back. In the games where we score the first goal we have been able to keep our spirits up. But, as soon as we get one or two down, it's rough.
"It's not something we need to continue working on. It's just a mental toughness in the game. Once they got the direct kick, it was all down hill from there."
A little over eight minutes later, Jim Thorpe junior forward Caitlin Liscinski scored off a perfect set-up from Condly to get things rolling. Not even 45-second later, Condly recorded her second goal of the game as she finished off a send-in from senior Britney McAteer to put her team up 3-0.
Galada settled in a bit and proceeded to knock down six more of the Olympians' 22 shots in the first half. Unfortunately she could only do so much, as Liscinski recorded her second of the game and her team-leading 10th goal of the season to cap the first half scoring.
After the half-time Senior Night activities were completed, the second half of the game was halted twice due to lightning. When things got started, the Olympians' Chelsea Smelas didn't greet the Wreckers' new goalkeeper Kristina Hansen too nicely. It took Smelas 21 seconds to give the hosts a 5-0 edge off an assist from Erica Smith.
It didn't even get ten minutes into the second half before the referees stopped the game again for lightning. Following the delay, the Wreckers tried to push the ball downfield but the Olympians' new keeper Celeste Meriano didn't allow them to spoil the shutout. Meriano grabbed the Wreckers' second shot and kicked it away. The Olympians outshot the Wreckers 33-2.
The Olympians (6-6) , who were constantly subbing in fresh feet – still kept the pressure up. Smelas recorded her second goal of the game with 3:49 left.
It was the "momentum" Emmert wanted his team to grab for the rest of the season, especially with their eyes set on the district playoffs. Meanwhile the Wreckers, who were playing without injured captains Susan Fink and Sam Kennelly, slip to 2-10.
"We're on the up-swing as far as momentum," said an optimistic Emmert. "All of our games from this point forward – thanks to hard work and dedication - should be wins for us. I know that's a lot to say for us not even playing yet. But based on the first half of the season and the wins we have taken, if we can just step it up a little bit then we should take those wins with us."