Rinfret comes up big
Any time that Palmerton and Northern Lehigh meet on a sporting venue, the rivalry is present.
Wednesday night proved to be no different, as the two teams were battling, tempers were flaring, and fans were vocal at the PHS Stadium Field in a Colonial League soccer match. It was the Bombers who grabbed a big advantage early and rolled to a 9-1 win.
Palmerton forward Casey Rinfret overcame some early Senior Night jitters to score four goals and assist on another to lead the Lady Bombers to the win.
"It feels really good to get this win," Rinfret said. "I was a little nervous at the beginning because I didn't think we were pressing the ball and playing as well as I knew we could. But then, after the first goal, things started to open up for us."
With 23 minutes remaining in the first half, the ball got loose in front of the NL net and the senior speedster utilized her greatest asset to run down the ball and beat Bulldog goalie Kylee Owens for the initial score.
Rinfret proved to be correct, as things definitely opened up for the winners from that point on. In fact, less than two minutes later, there was another scuffle in front of the Lady 'Dawg net, and the ball got loose to the right side. Another sprint from Rinfret and it was a matter of time before she booted her second goal past Owens for a 2-0 lead.
"I think the rest of the team, other than myself, played well tonight," Rinfret stated. "A lot of balls out of the back were to the corners, or to certain areas that really helped me out and made scoring a lot easier."
The Lady Bombers continued to challenge Owens in net for the remainder of the first half.
Kylee Turko took a feed from Lauren David and put it into the right side of the net for a 3-0 lead with 5:46 remaining in the first.
PHS wouldn't settle, as senior Alex Paulinho received a Rinfret assist and pounded a ball, that ricocheted off NL's Owens and another player, before finding the net to give the Bombers a 4-0 lead at the intermission.
"This was a big night for us," Palmerton coach Barry Hahn said. "Our girls played very well and it wasn't just a win, but it was good, quality soccer by all our players."
Northern Lehigh showed they weren't going to just roll over and quit as it came out impressively in the second half. Less than a minute into the second, Samantha Eden scored unassisted, to cut into the Palmerton lead.
That's when Rinfret and her fellow classmates made the biggest statement of the night. Any hopes the Bulldogs had of a comeback were quickly eliminated as Rinfret scored twice in less than a minute to balloon the score to 6-1 with 34:15 left. Turko assisted on the second of those goals, before adding a goal of her own.
Morgan Myers assisted Turko on another score with just over 17 minutes remaining to make it 8-1. Myers then scored off a Jenna Creed assist with 2:45 left to round out the scoring.
"I think there have been games where we didn't come out as clean as we could have," Hahn mentioned. "Tonight was one of those games where we clicked on all eleven cylinders."
Coming off a 11-0 win over Freeland MMI the previous night, Hahn felt momentum had a big part to do with their win over NL.
"It was a solid team effort overall, straight across the board, and every player did an outstanding job."