Overall team speed is needed in practically every sport, but in soccer it can garner success on its own.
Moravian Academy's used its quickness to beat Jim Thorpe 6-1 in the first round of the District 11 Class AA girls soccer tournament.
"Overall, they had a lot of speed and aggressiveness," Lady Olympian head coach Tom Condly said. "Give them a lot of credit because they're a great team. They had a burst there in the first half and we just couldn't contain them."
Condly's squad entered the game as the tourney's 11th seed.
The No. 6 seed Lady Lions' Makenzie O'Brien began a barrage of goals in the first half that saw Jim Thorpe facing a 6-0 deficit at the intermission.
"We have been working all year round on movement off the ball and passing," Moravian Academy head coach Lauren Calabrese said. "The system of play we use is creating less work for ourselves through off-the-ball movement and that is what we've really been focusing on. We have a lot of high-quality players on our team, but to sustain that high level of play for the entire game is something we need to work on."
As the second half began, Jim Thorpe showed that it wasn't about to give up, as it continued to challenge the Lions' defense. The persistence paid off when Cat Condly fed Rebecca Cressman for a goal just under halfway through the second half.
The Lions (12-4-1) were caught off guard in the second half by the Olympians, bringing about an issue that has been on coach Calabrese's mind.
"We definitely got a lot of touches early on in that first half and we scored a lot of goals," she said. "It's sometimes difficult to stay in a game after that. But Jim Thorpe kept playing hard so it kept us still needing to stay mentally engaged in the game."
In the first 40 minutes, O'Brien opened up the scoring with her first of three goals off an assist from Annelise DePaulo. O'Brien added an unassisted goal a few minutes later. Myria Zambas followed with a goal off another feed from DePaulo, before Ashley Ender got in on the action off an assist from Emily Smith.
O'Brien rounded out her hat trick off a DePaulo feed and Ender ended the first half with a score off a pass from teammate Sarah Burcaw.
The loss puts an end to a nice season by the Lady Olympians. After losing nine of 11 starters two seasons ago, Jim Thorpe went through a rebuilding process with the Condly name at its foundation.
Tom (the head coach), Dani (an assistant), and Cat (leading scorer and one of the team captains) helped the team go 10-9 this season.
"I told the players after the game that we would hate to end the season with a loss, but unless you're a state champion, you're going to have to do it that way," Tom Condly said. "We would have liked this one to have been a more competitive game, but we're happy with the season."
"I'm so proud of this team for the season and tonight," Cat Condly said. "Because tonight they played their hardest and that's all I could ask of my teammates."