Lorraine Feinour wasn't going to let Northwestern's loss in the Colonial League championship game last Friday ruin her senior season.
Instead, the Tiger goalkeeper let that emotional setback serve a purpose in what turned out to be an 5-0 victory over Saucon Valley in the opening round of the District 11 Soccer Tournament on Wednesday.
"I think Friday's game really drove us today," Feinour said. "It brought us together more as a team and, it made us focus on this game and want it that much more."
After suffering its first loss of the season to Palisades in the CL title game when the Pirates converted a first-half penalty kick for the game's only score, Northwestern bounced back strong yesterday.
Feinour wasn't very busy thanks to outstanding play by her teammates, who outshot Saucon Valley 20-5. That made life difficult for Panthers' goalie Kelly Shoenberger, who was under constant pressure.
It took a while for Northwestern's offensive barrage to get going, however.
With 7:44 left in the first half, Anna Fricchione gave the Tigers a spark.
"Abagail [Schneck] set a perfect ball right at the near post where I made my run like coach Bleam always taught us to do," said Fricchione, who had a goal and an assist. "She always tells us to keep making those near post runs to help us get those easy goals. I was just there and got it right out of the keeper's hands."
After Fricchione was able to flick the ball over the goalkeeper for the game's first goal, teammate Haylee Kubat followed shortly after with a beautiful header off a corner from Angela Motolese with 1:55 left in the first half.
After seeing four shots and grabbing two saves before half, Feinour only saw a single shot by the Panthers the rest of the way. That's because her pack of Tigers took over completely on the opposite side of the field.
In a matter of just 27 seconds, the Tigers doubled up their lead.
Trista Cunningham took a perfect feed from Fricchione with 33:24 left in the game for a goal from the far side. Motolese then riccocheted a shot off the far post for a goal with 32:57 left. Sabrina Mertz earned the assist as the lead grew to 4-0.
"The goals were simply phenomenal and they were set up by outstanding assists," said Feinour. "It was just us finishing the ball. With Anna starting it off in the first half, and than us just running through the ball and getting those shots off, it really started the momentum forward for the rest of the goals scored on the day."
Nicole Lach finished off the scoring with a perfect finish to an unreal of a throw-in from Cunningham, who does a front flip prior to throwing the ball into play. Cunningham had enough power on the ball to get it in front of the Panthers' net and Lach lined herself perfectly to get her foot on the ball and beat Shoenberger one more time.
The Tigers now host No. 12 seed Emmaus in the quarterfinalson Friday at 4 p.m.
Northwestern's Bleam saw her team take a step in the right direction after putting the tough loss in the league final behind them.
"The district tournament is a whole new tournament," Bleam said. "We know we've got to start at the beginning again. We knew we needed to work our way through Saucon Valley and Saucon's a good team.
"We knew we had some work ahead of us today and that proved to be the case. I'm pleased with the result and I am pleased with the way we brought it together in the second half."