Smelas, Jim Thorpe pull away
It was just the kind of soccer game Chelsea Smelas was having on Saturday!
The Jim Thorpe senior had a late corner kick on Weatherly's side of the field late in the game. She booted the ball towards one of the forwards in the middle of the field, but it took a pronounced curve and sailed into the Weatherly net.
"Oh, my God," the surprised Smelas said to herself.
That was her fifth goal of the day as the Olympians won over the Wreckers, 9-2, in Weatherly's homecoming game.
Smelas had an additional 17 shots on goal during the game.
A multiple sports, letter winner for Jim Thorpe, she said she and her teammates got fired up after the Wreckers scored on their first possession.
"We started off rough and it's just not the way we play," she said.
She credited her peers for her performance, commenting, "My teammates just fire me up to do my best."
In the game, Jim Thorpe outshot the opponent, 36-9.
The win for the Olympians improves their record to 2-2. Coach Rich Emmert said his squad used the opportunity against the inexperienced opponent to release its frustrations after back-to-back losses to Tamaqua and Blue Mountain.
"It was all them," Emmert said of the win, referring to the team and declining the credit. "We had two big losses and now it's time to bring the season back."
Emmert had praise for sophomore Cat Condly and senior Kristin Lawrence, two forwards "who were up front and stayed on the ball."
The start of the game made it look like the Wreckers were going to be the dominant team.
Weatherly controlled the ball for the game's opening 75 seconds. Then junior forward Erin Dougherty delivered a straight-on kick, giving the Wreckers a 1-0 lead.
Coach Emmert reacted by switching goalies, but it probably wouldn't have mattered. For the rest of the day Jim Thorpe's goalie stayed pretty lonely. Very little action came her way.
Six minutes after Weatherly took its 1-0 lead, the Olympians tied the score with Condly taking a pass from Erica Smith and putting the ball in the net. Then, 45 seconds after that, the Olympians took the lead for keeps with Smelas starting her assault, kicking a wicked shot past the Weatherly goalie.
Lawrence scored the third Thorpe goal of the first half off an assist from Condly.
The home team started the second half just like it started the game. The Wreckers took immediate control for about two minutes with senior Tracy Galada netting the ball and cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The remainder of the second half belonged to Jim Thorpe, however, as it reeeled off six straight goals to blow the game open. Smelas had the final four Olympian goals. Condly and Lawrence also scored for Thorpe. Providing key assists to Smelas were Condly, Lawrence, and Jennifer Rusbarsky.
Weatherly head coach Shannon Shughart said injuries to two key players hurt her team's performance. "We had one of our strongest defenders taken out the game when she took a face ball," said Shughart. "Another defender came out with a hip injury."
She noted that early in the second half Jim Thorpe led only 3-2. "We stayed in the game for the most part," she said. "We had a breakdown in defense. Because of the injuries, we had people playing defense who never play defense."
Praise was given to senior Tiana Genetti, who Shughart said "was a play stopper, playing the midfield position."