Write this one down in the record books for Jim Thorpe as its girls' soccer team defeated Tamaqua, 4-0, on Monday for its first win ever over the Lady Raiders.
"Motivation was not a problem for this game," said Jim Thorpe coach Tom Condly. "We have a lot of respect for the Tamaqua program. They have gotten the best of us for the past six years, but our girls really felt that they could finally get one from them and they gave an outstanding effort."
The motivation that Condly spoke about was obvious as Jim Thorpe (2-2) dominated the play throughout the first half. At the 25 minute mark, senior and coach's daughter, Cat Condly finished passes from Amber Castillo and Rebecca Cressman to find the left corner of the Raider net and give JT the lead.
The Olympians kept the ball on the Tamaqua side of the field until the Raiders' finally took a shot on goal from midfield with 18 minutes to go. Then, with under five minutes to go, Thorpe's Ilse Hassler found Cressman in front of the Raider goal and her angled kick beat the goalie just inside the right corner.
Tamaqua (3-3) could only muster two shots and one corner in the first half.
"I told our girls to pick it up in the second half," said Raider coach, Clem McCarroll. "They were beating us to every ball and we looked overwhelmed. We are very young and we have been having trouble stringing passes together and working for good shots. I was hoping we could get a quick one on them early in the second half."
Tamaqua gave its best effort to try to satisfy their coach's wish. With eight minutes gone, Raider midfielder, Lynn Kistler came in all alone on Olympian goalie, Alyssa Smith, but could only manage a soft kick that was easily handled. With 16 minutes left, Smith juggled a long shot, but regained control.
Jim Thorpe then took the momentum back and kept it for the rest of the game.
With just under four minutes to play, Anna Beard took a feed from Kressman and scored to give the Olympians an insurmountable 3-0 lead. Seconds later, Condley tallied her second of the game with a long boot into the top of the goal for the final score.
Cressman has scored five goals and Condly has four in JT's four games thus far. It was also Smith's second consecutive shutout of the young season.
"Rebecca Cressman had been our goalie, but with Alyssa Smith's progress, we were able to make Rebecca a striker and it has really helped us offensively as well as defensively with Alyssa," remarked Condly
"We played better in the second half, but their third goal did us in," said McCarroll. "We only have 14 goals in six games with balanced scoring, but we are waiting for someone to step it up on offense. Until then we have to make adjustments so that our younger players stay focused."
Jim Thorpe had a total of 21 shots to Tamaqua's five and the Olympians had a 3-2 edge in corners.
"We will see Tamaqua again, but right now I am very happy that we got our first ever victory against a terrific program," said Condly. "Give credit to our leadership from Cat and Amber today. They set a great example for our younger players."