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Bears roll past PMW in girls soccer

Dominating time of possession and ball control is what Pleasant Valley’s soccer team has been taught, and they showed that Thursday in a 5-1 win over Pocono Mountain West.

The first half was dominated by PV to the point that the Bears’ defense barely allowed the Panthers to get the ball past midfield.

“The passing was great tonight,” said Pleasant Valley head coach Derek Strohl. “From our starters to our subs, we controlled the ball for a lot of the game.”

Freshman Larissa Mulligan kicked off the scoring, finding the back of the net only 1:39 into the game.

Mulligan dribbled the ball up the right side and beat the goalie for the score.

The Bears’ seamless passing attack began opening up more scoring chances as the game went on. Midway through the first half, they broke through again when reshman midfielder Aurora Cruci directed a great pass through the defense to teammate Teah Cardoza, who was one-on-one with the goalie.

Cardoza beat the keeper on the left side and extended the Bears advantage.

“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” said Strohl. “The youth has really been building on it, and that’s why we had success tonight.”

West finally got an attack going late in the first half. Caroline Weirich battled hard in front of the goal, taking the ball from the goalie’s feet and battling off a defender.

After side-stepping the goalie and last defender, Weirich aimed at an open net and put her team on the scoreboard.

The two teams then traded possession until right before the half when Brianna Clark added to the Bears’ lead. Clark fired a laser on goal, making the score 3-1 going into halftime.

Mulligan wasted no time in the second half, coming out and scoring just a minute after play resumed.

Leading 4-1, the Bears continued their early dominance of ball control and only allowed one shot on goal in the second half.

PM West goalkeeper Deyana Marshall didn’t quit, stopping three consecutive scoring opportunities late in the game.

With less than 14 minutes to go, Danielle DiMarco sealed the win with the Bears’ fifth goal of the game.

BRIGHT FUTURE ... Pleasant Valley’s offense relied heavily on their young players as three of the five goals scored were by freshmen.

2 FOR 2 ... Freshman Larissa Mulligan took only two shots Thursday night, scoring on both of them.

<p>Pleasant Valley’s Morgan Covart (11) makes contact with Caroline Weirich of Pocono Mountain West after kneeing the ball forward. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see a photo gallery. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS</p>