Bartasavage hat trick leads Indians
The ability to finish in soccer is a rare skill.
Lehighton’s Brittney Bartasavage showed on Wednesday that it’s a skill she most definitely possesses.
Bartasavage scored all of her team’s goals as the Indians recorded a 3-1 Schuylkill League victory over Tamaqua.
“It was honestly about placement, and then getting a little lucky,” said Bartasavage about her hat trick.
The senior’s first goal was unassisted at 21:43 of the first half when she ran down the right side and drove the ball into the lower left corner of the net.
Her second goal happened in the second half less than a minute after Tamaqua’s Kimberly Rudy had tied the score on a penalty kick.
Bartasavage’s third goal came with just over 10 minutes left to play in the game, and provided Lehighton with some breathing room.
Her last two goals both came on shots into the top left corner of the net - a placement she said she finally was able to accomplish.
“All season, I’ve been told to go for the far corner, the far post, but I could never get it there, but today, I scored two there,” she said.
The game began with little offensive push from either team, although Lehighton held a slight advantage in field positioning.
Tribe coach Carl Wolter kept urging his players without the ball to get into open spaces.
“They get used to having to pass to someone, rather than pass to a space where we can get to the ball ahead of the defender,” said Wolter, who added he saw much better use of that strategy by his players in the second half.
Near the end of the first half and into the first few minutes of the second, Tamaqua (1-13) - led by Rudy and Sarah Hope - pressured the Indians’ defense multiple times, but could not get off any quality shots on goal.
“We played hard, especially in the second half,” said Raiders’ coach Clem McCarroll. “We were in position to create good shots, but we just couldn’t finish the plays.”
McCarroll’s point was proved by the fact that his team outshot Lehighton 16-13 in the game, but not many were difficult saves.
Rudy finished her penalty kick, however, that tied the score at 1-1.
The momentum mustered by the Raiders from that goal was short-lived, however, as Bartasavage made it 2-1 with 20 minutes to play in the game.
“Give credit to Bartasavage. She put some great shots in the net that we had no chance of stopping,” said McCarroll.
Lehighton (5-10) could have iced the game with several more goals in the second half if it were not for the outstanding play of Raiders’ goalie, Zoe Seltzer, who stopped uncontested shots by Karissa Moyer and Kayla Hregician, as well as several other threats from short range.
“We were very aggressive for most of the game,” said Wolter. “We were keeping our eyes up and seeing the field.”
Wolter commended the play of his goalies, Charli McHugh - who had to come out of the game briefly due to a minor injury - and her temporary replacement, Kim Lauer.
“Because of injuries, Charli was our fourth team goalie, and we had to actually put in a fifth team goalie in Kim (Lauer) for a minute,” said Wolter. “Charli was terrific today. She made big saves when we needed them, and she didn’t give up any rebounds.”
McHugh stopped 15 shots, while Seltzer saved 13 for Tamaqua.
... With under five minutes to go, Wolter held back some substitutes to preserve the lead because if the team winning sends them into the game with time winding down, the clock would have to be officially stopped, so he waited for the Raiders to make the move.
... Lehighton hosts Pottsville at 9 a.m. on Saturday, while Tamaqua hosts North Schuylkill Friday at 6:30 p.m.