Gateway topples Fox Chapel in battle of section unbeatens
The Fox Chapel varsity girls soccer team was undefeated through seven Section 3-AAA games, and no opponent had been able to upend the Foxes in 12 contests overall.
Gateway changed that on Saturday on the stadium turf at Fox Chapel High School.
Senior Carly Seneca scored two goals — her team-leading 15th and 16th of the season — as the Gators sent the Foxes to a 2-0 defeat.
Fox Chapel gave up only two goals over its first 12 games, and both were surrendered in a 3-2 nonsection win against Shady Side Academy.
While the Foxes fell to 7-1 in section play, Gateway upped its section mark to 7-0-1.
“We felt we had to raise our game mentally and be more focused to face a team like Fox Chapel,” Gateway head coach Kevin Sanders said.
“On Friday, we worked on team defending with (multiple-player) strategies. We worked on reading what the other team is doing instead of jumping on individual tackles.”
The shutout was Gateway's fourth of the season.
The Gators scored in the fourth minute and held onto the lead until they added an insurance goal in the 62nd minute.
Sophomore Maggie Hilton assisted Seneca on her goal in the second half.
“I think the (second goal) was the best-looking goal we've scored this season,” Sanders said.
“Maggie split the defense and got it to Carly, who got herself in good position. It was a nice play, and it seemed to take a lot out of (Fox Chapel).”
Hilton's assist was her team-best 10th of the season.
Sophomore Emily Stevens fed Seneca on an odd-man breakaway in the fourth minute, as Gateway struck quickly.
It was Stevens' seventh helper on the campaign.
“We scored early and then kind of got into a defensive mode,” Sanders said.
“Fox Chapel had more chances in the first half. They made some nice plays. But we always had somebody on somebody. We were marking well. We didn't give them any clean shots.”
Fox Chapel finished with 10 shots and 10 corner kicks.
Gateway uncharacteristically had only one corner kick, and it was efficient on just five shots.
Junior Allie Warsaw started in net, and she combined with the defense to keep the potent Fox Chapel attack off the scoreboard.
“Allie was on her game,” Sanders said.
Fox Chapel scored 53 goals in 12 games before Saturday.
Gateway was scheduled to return to section action Wednesday against Oakland Catholic, and the game was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition.
The Eagles were smarting after a 4-0 setback to Penn Hills on Monday.
Gateway takes on section foe Allderdice on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh's South Side.
The rematch between the Gators and the Foxes is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Antimarino Stadium.
BP 4, Gateway 0
Gateway ventured out of section on Monday and undefeated Bethel Park handed the Gators a shutout defeat.
“Bethel Park had a balanced attack and played very good team soccer,” Sanders said. “We missed some chances early. Bethel Park was the better team, and we have to learn from that game.”
Bethel Park held an 8-3 advantage in shots.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.