Ron Gower/times news Pleasant Valley's Diane Connor (7) steps around a Notre Dame defender.
Last Friday's Mountain Valley Conference championship game loss was tough on the Pleasant Valley girls' soccer team.
However, thanks to the resiliency of the Lady Bears' senior leaders, the team got over it pretty quick.
Pleasant Valley rebounded from last week's loss by knocking off Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg, 4-0 in the first round of the District 11 soccer playoffs. The sixth-seeded Bears got things rolling in the second half and scored three goals en route to the shutout victory.
"The first half we sort of looked unfocused," said Pleasant Valley head coach Tim Hinton. "It was like we were just going through the motions and weren't playing very smart at all.
"At halftime we went over some things. We just took notice of what (Notre Dame) was doing around us and adjusted. The second half was definitely better."
It didn't take long for the Bears (16-4-1) to go on the offensive. Forward Emily Schlogl ripped a shot off the crossbar roughly five minutes in to start the attack.
Then, just a minute and a half later, Schlogl's aim was a little better as she put one away for the game's first goal. Teammate Hannah Brenier made a pass up to Schlogl, who shot high for the tally. The goal was the lone score of the first half.
Notre Dame had a chance to tie it up around the 22:30 mark off of a corner, but Bears' goalie Sarah Elmontacir made a diving save to keep the Spartans off the board.
Pleasant Valley's offense picked up the pace in the second half and scored three goals within the first 20 minutes.
Its first came just over two minutes in off the foot of Ema Sabovic. Sabovic worked a pretty give-and-go with Schlogl and tapped in a beautiful centering pass for the goal.
Ten minutes later Dianna Connor, the Bears' leading scorer, ripped a hard shot from the 25-yard-line and had the ball go off the keeper's fingertips for the score.
A few minutes later teammate Amber Skworzow made it 4-0 when she put away a nice pass from Sabovic.
"I'm really happy with our offense," Hinton said. "Our focus was to get balls wide and let our playmakers make plays. I like Dianna and Emily's speed in space, so anytime we can get them into space that's what we are going to do. They can make things happen."
Pleasant Valley advances to the second round to play the 14th seed in Easton. The Red Rovers knocked off third-seeded Pocono Mountain East 3-0, who upset the Bears in the MVC championship last Friday. The two teams will play Friday at 4 p.m. at Pleasant Valley.
"Obviously the girls were upset about the loss, but they are a veteran group that took it upon themselves to refocus," said Hinton. "We said we just have to start over. It's a new tournament and we have to keep winning.
"That would be nice (to get another shot at East). At the same time, we know it is going to be a battle whether it is Easton or Pocono Mountain East. They are both solid teams front to back and are well coached. It was a good start today, but we will have to play even better - and harder - on Friday."