STROUDSBURG - There wasn't much that Pleasant Valley head girls soccer coach Tim Hinton wanted to change as the Lady Bears faced Pocono Mountain East for the Mountain Valley Conference Championship on Friday night.
Hinton, who guided Pleasant Valley to a perfect record of 13-0 against MVC foes, just wanted to continue the winning tradition and guide the team to their third title in the last four years.
Pocono Mountain East senior Jasmin Lalin had a different outlook.
It was Jasmin, who scored twice in Wednesday's upset win over defending champion Stroudsburg, was the hero again.
With the score tied at 1-1 and time winding down, Jasmin took control during a wild scrum to the left of the goal and booted the game-winner past Pleasant Valley goalie Sarah Elmonticir with 50 seconds to go, giving the Cardinals their first ever MVC girls soccer championship.
"Jasmin is one of the hardest workers on our team," said Pocono Mountain head coach Keith Dickerson. "It came down to that final minute. Someone needed to make something happen and it just came down to pure heart, pure effort. It couldn't happen to a better player. Jasmin is exactly what this team needed."
The Cardinals were the more aggressive team in the first half and actually outshot the Bears 16-9 during the contest.
Pocono Mountain East's defense didn't allow the Lady Bears to get a shot on goal until there was 4:45 left in the first half when Aimee Sokolowski did the honor.
"The whole team played fantastic," said Dickerson. "We had a game plan coming in. Connor is one of the most dangerous players in District 11. She's the leading scorer in the MVC for a reason. We just wanted to make sure we kept the ball in front of us and minimize our breakdowns.
There was no holding down Pleasant Valley and the Mountain Valley Conference leading scorer Dianna Connor down forever.
With 2:27 left in the half, Connor made good on a breakaway thanks to an assist from Emily Schlogel.
After the intermission
"Pleasant Valley's a great team" said Dickerson. "We had two real tough matchups with them in the regular season. We knew this was probably going to be a one-goal game.
"We came ready to play. This is the first time we showed up for a championship game. I give our girls a lot of credit. The last few weeks, we've really come together. We've been down several times and they never quit. Today was no different."
Alyssa Simeone tied it up with 30:53 left in the second half off an assist from Sophie Conklin for the Cards and despite Pleasant Valley controlling the ball most of the time down the stretch, East goalie Loren Fish kept them from scoring.
""Throughout the second half, we were playing better," said Hinton. "Unfortunately the team that controlled the half had the goals go against them.
"We knew coming in it could go either way. We were close, but East had it going and are definitely better than its record shows. They kept the pressure on the whole game and eventually when you keep balls alive, it's bound to go your way sooner or later."
Now the Bears have to shake it off and get back to business for districts, which gets underway on Wednesday.