Lady Bears blank Cardinals
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Pleasant Valley's Gabby Lucheese (23) dives towards the ball to kick it as Pocono Mountain West's Kelsey Lewis defends in the backround. The Lady Bears won to advance to Thursday's round to play Whitehall at 6 p.m.
BRODHEADSVILLE - After a heartbreaking loss to Stroudsburg in double-overtime of the MVC title game, Pleasant Valley came out determined not to let another opportunity slip away against Pocono Mountain West in the first round of the District 11 playoffs.
With just about 20 minutes to play in the first half, Pleasant Valley got its first goal of the game on a shot by Emily Schlogl. Pleasant Valley controlled possession for much of the first half, but only managed the one goal.
It took the Bears' just over three minutes to get its first goal of the second half and extend the lead. They didn't look back after that, notching three more goals before the final gun for a final score of 5-0.
Emily Schlogl scored another goal for the Bears' in the second half while also adding an assist. Pleasant Valley's other goals came from Erin Sharpe, who scored two, and Ema Sabovic.
Pocono Mountain West had chances throughout the game, but were denied by the Bears' goalie duo of Janelle Pastrana and Hailey Parks. Pastrana made five saves and played into the second half for the Bears' before being relieved by Parks, who made three saves during her time in goal.
Parks was able to preserve the shutout for Pleasant Valley by making an acrobatic save with just over a minute left in the game. Pleasant Valley had a 19-9 shot advantage over Pocono Mountain West in the contest.
Even with the considerable advantage in shots on goal, the key for the Bears' in the this game was taking advantage of its opportunities.
"Our focus at half time was to hold possession," Pleasant Valley coach Tim Hinton said. "I thought scoring two goals early helped them play more freely."
Pleasant Valley's next opponent in the playoffs will be Whitehall, who finished the season with a 16-2-1 record. Coach Hinton knows that his team is going to have to be at its best when they take on Whitehall.
"We're going to have to hold possession more against Whitehall. They're a very good team."
Hinton is confident that the Bears', who have a 14-6-1 record, will be up to the challenge.
"The girls have been resilient. They had a tough loss in the MVC title game but played well today. We finished our opportunities today."
On Thursday night at 6, Pleasant Valley will have one of its biggest opportunities of the season. An opportunity Coach Hinton believes the Bears will take full advantage of, just as they did against Pocono Mountain West.