"Today we got it done!"
Northern Lehigh's John Sitaras exclaimed after his girls topped Palmerton 3-1 in Colonial League Soccer.
Two early goals and a clinching second half goal allowed the Lady Bulldogs (1-9, 2-11) to hold on to a lead; something they were unable to do earlier in the season.
"We've had the lead a couple of times before and we weren't able to keep it in the second half and this time we did," Sitaras said.
Northern Lehigh put the pressure on the visiting Lady Bombers early. Senior forward Briana Riddick used her speed to put pressure on the Palmerton defense.
Riddick set up the first goal by gathering a pass and racing toward the corner. Her shot on goal was defected into the waiting foot of Carly Gavala who gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later Northern Lehigh's Samantha Corcoran's shot was deflected by a defender. The ball ballooned high and over the Palmerton goal keep for a 2-0 lead.
"We were fortunate that we stopped them right after we scored so we did not give the momentum back to them," Sitaras said.
Down 2-0, the Lady Bombers took the offensive and pelted Northern Lehigh keeper Emily Mulcahy with 14 first half shots.
"I sensed today the girls were standing up and pressing especially when they were giving up opportunities," Sitaras added. "They were alert and a covering and not giving open shots."
After half, Palmerton again pressed hard and it seemed they had solved Mulcahy. Alex Paulinho who hovered in front of goal all day, slipped the ball passed Northern Lehigh's keeper only to hit the post.
"We talked about staying tough and doing what we needed to do," Sweeper Shelby Snyder said of the halftime talk.
"Shelby had a good game," Sitaras said of his sweeper. "She stabilized the defense."
Midfielder Addie George's play was noticeable on both sides of the ball.
"She gives us a little bit of skill at midfield, she's able to trap the ball, put a couple of passes together, and that made a lot of difference for us," Sitaras said.
Midway through the second half, Riddick found the back of the net to extend the lead to 3-0.
Morgan Meyers nailed a penalty kick for Palmerton's only goal.
"We had opportunities and we didn't capitalize on those opportunities," Palmerton coach Barry Hahn said.
Palmerton (3-8) is continuing to struggle finishing. The team has a tendency to out shoot its opponents, but not get anything past the keeper.
"We got a little sloppy in the first half and dug ourselves a hole and we just couldn't dig ourselves out," Hahn said. "We just have to work on playing smarter soccer."
"It was a good win, we were due for one," Sitaras said. "It's been somewhat of a difficult season because we had a couple of season ending injuries, its good to see them putting it together to get this win."
"We have some speed and we try to capitalize on that," "We missed a coupel of chances but for the most part it worked."