Pleasant Valley knocks off Easton
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Pleasant Valley's Katie Forte (18) heads the ball away from Easton's Natalie Purdue during Friday's district 11 quarterfinal. The Bears wound up winning by a 2-1 score.
With the way things panned out last Friday, the Pleasant Valley girls' soccer team wasn't quite ready to see the same thing happen to them again a week later.
After losing the Mountain Valley Conference championship to Pocono Mountain East, the Bears weren't quite ready to be eliminated from the District 11 Tournament.
The No. 6 seeded Bears were able to accomplish what they set out to do yesterday and walked away with a 2-1 win over the No. 14 seeded Easton in the quarterfinals of the district playoffs.
With the win, the Bears live on to play another day as they'll face defending District champion Parkland, this year's No. 2 seed, on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Whitehall High School Sports Complex. Parkland moved on as well thanks to a xx-xx win over No. 7 seed Stroudsburg.
"Coming off the MVC loss (in the championship game), our girls just didn't want to be done playing yet," Pleasant Valley coach Tim Hinton said. "We refocused. The leadership stepped up. We won Wednesday. We knew today was going to be huge. They just didn't want to stop playing yet.
"We wanted at least two more games. We have two more games next week."
It took two goals by the Bears to be able to fulfill their current goa in the district tournament.
After Dianna Connor missed her first three shots, the junior forward found the back of the net with 4:07 left in the opening half, Connor was able to get a shot off right in front of the Red Rovers' posts and beat goalkeeper Estizer Smith on the top shelf.
Ema Sabovic was credited with the assist after slowing down a cross pass from the near sideline. Sabovic was able to get enough foot to flick it to Connor, who then finished it off for the 1-0 lead.
After the half, it only took Sabovic 21 seconds to take her turn on goal.
With her first shot of the game, Sabovic got a perfect feed from Emily Schlogl on a run. The sophomore Bear dodged and weaved between two Red Rover defenders and then used her left foot to hook the ball past Smith for a goal with 39:39 left in the game.
"We knew this was a really big game," Sabovic said. "We knew Easton was going to be a challenge, but we came out stronger and we connected really well. We did great today."
Meanwhile, Hinton knew his underclassman had the capability to step up to the challenge when her Bears needed her most in a key game.
"She's always got her head up," Hinton said. "She's a play maker. She's always looking to make plays to help out her team.
"And, she stepped up big for us today."
However, 10 minutes after Sabovic's heroics, the Red Rovers gave the Bears a wake-up call.
With 29:14 left in the game, Lauren LaDuca made it a whole new game pulling her team within reach once again. In a one-on-one with PV goalie Sarah Elmontacir, LaDuca beat her to the back right of the net.
After that, it was another battle of the midfield as the two continued to exchange attacks, but the Bears defense put the finishing touches on the victory and held on to end any change of a Red Rover rally.
"They're a really good team," Sabovic said. "We were getting a little scared there toward the end, but we slipped through. And, our defense did great to hold them off so we can move on."