Notre Dame routs Tamaqua
EASTON - Tony Billone knew very little about the Tamaqua girls' soccer team.
But it didn't take the Notre Dame of Green Pond coach and his players long to figure the Blue Raiders out once their District 11 Class AA opening round game started.
The Crusader rolled to a commanding 9-0 victory over the visiting Blue Raiders.
"Right away, I could tell No. 5 (Kailee Rottet) was a player," Billone said. "When she had the ball at her feet, she was really showing some quality soccer skills.
"But I thought our midfielders reacted to that well and did a nice job controling the ball. I thought we passed the ball around well to keep it away from No. 5 because she was their go-to girl and it worked."
With the win, Notre Dame advances to face No. 3 seed Northwestern on Friday at 3 p.m in the quarterfinal round.
The No. 11 seeded Blue Raiders found themselves in trouble right from the start
The Crusaders' Olivia Simone tallied a breakaway goal with only 2:22 off the clock. Teammate Shannon Moran was credited with the assist.
Nearly, seven minutes later Simone capitalized on another perfect feed. She used her quickness to beat a few Blue Raiders defenders to post the second of her three goals on the day.
Laura Sarria and Gabrielle Altemose also scored first half goals for the Crusaders (12-7 overall) to make it 4-0 at the break.
"It just seemed like what no matter what they did it worked and no matter what we did it didn't work," Tamaqua coach Clem McCarroll said. "They just did some perfect through passes. It looked like there was some confusion with our defense with who took who. In the meantime, they were running by us while we were trying to decide who picks up the through pass.
"So, I think the uncertainty back there of people being moved around and their speed threw us off. You just can't have that, especially early in the game."
Unfortunately for the Blue Raiders (11-8-1), things got no better in the second half.
Sarria added her second goal off a Colleen Elward feed less than two minutes into the second half. Alexi McGivern then headed in a perfect feed from Sam Cabone to make it 6-0.
A pair of goals by Katie Aquilina sandwiched around a Simone goal finally capped the scoring.
The Crusaders held a 15-8 edge in shots. Rottet had five shots for Tamaqua
"They played smart," McCarroll said. "They did what they had to do to shut us down and you got to give them credit for that. I heard the coach yell about No. 5 as soon as the game started. They had her (Rottet) pegged as who they wanted to shut down.
"She battled hard and tried, but you just can't go through three people. There's no way. She gave a valiant effort however."