Scranton Prep ends Northwestern's run
WILKES-BARRE Bianca Chairge's first attempt at a direct kick from 35 yards out clanked off the crossbar, inches from sneaking into the top of the goal.
When the Scranton Prep midfielder a second chance at the same kick less than two minutes later, she hit it perfectly. The ball sailed just over the hand of Northwestern keeper Laura Hill and just under the crossbar with 10:39 left in the first half. The Classics would go on to score two more goals for a 3-0 win in the PIAA Class AA first round girls soccer game.
"She put it in the perfect spot," said Scranton Prep head coach Doug Kniester. "I don't know many people who are going to get to that ball."
Neither team got a lot of shot attempts in the game. The Tigers possessed the ball in their offensive third at times, but couldn't manage a lot of quality shot attempts.
"Scranton defended well," said Northwestern head coach Kelly Bleam. "They were very organized and very thoughtful in their defending and we were not able to get our shot off in the final third because of that."
The Classics (16-0-1) took a 1-0 lead into halftime. They made it 2-0 in the seventh minute of the second half when Jacquie Graham got open in fron of Northwesern's goal. She took a hard cross from Elana Falcone and one touched it into the goal with 33:48 left in the game.
"The first [goal] I don't think anyone could have stopped," said Bleam. "The second one, the shot itself I don't think was stoppable, but preventing it from being taken was possible. We did a poor job of defending them."
Scranton Prep added the insurance goal with 5:08 left in the game when Graham, in a crowd in front of the goal, took a pass from Kelly Pompey and drilled it into the net for a 3-0 lead.
The Classics move on to the quarterfinals. Northwestern (19-3) ends its season.
The Tigers were coming off a heartbreaking loss to Saucon Valley in the district title game. They regrouped and played well against the undefeated Classics.
"They played well today," said Bleam. "They played with pride. I was real pleased to see them work as hard as they did."
The Tigers went undefeated in the regular season and earned league and district silver medals this season.
"They have a very nice team," said Kneister. "It was one of those days that we got a couple breaks and they didn't get any breaks. If we played them again it might be the opposite."