Elizabeth Forward falls again to South Park
Elizabeth Forward has shown it can stay with perennial WPIAL Class AA championship contender South Park.
What the Warriors haven't been able to do is beat the Eagles.
South Park (7-2-1, 7-1-1) senior Molly Shultz scored on a perfect crossing shot from 25 yards out at 12:44 of the second half to help the Trib Total Media Class AA No. 4 Eagles to a 2-1 victory over Elizabeth Forward (8-3-0, 6-2-0) to complete a season sweep of the Warriors. The loss also ended Elizabeth Forward's seven-game winning streak.
In the three years since Elizabeth Forward dropped down from Class AAA and landed in Section 4 AA, the Warriors are 0-6-0 against South Park and have been outscored 20-4.
“They're a very skilled team, a very fast-paced teams and they caught us on some mental mistakes and they took advantage,” Elizabeth Forward coach Brandon Gerba said. “Simply put, they did what they needed to do to put the pressure on us and they followed through.”
This loss may have been the most frustrating of all. Trailing by a goal with 6:37 remaining in regulation, junior forward Alison Pastore slammed the rebound of her own shot into the net for the apparent tying goal, but the referee immediately waved the goal off and awarded the ball to South Park on a goal kick.
“They claimed that it was over the end line before she touched it and the end lines are different here. They're shorter than the football field and it was tough for us to see,” Gerba said. “From our angle it looked like it was close enough for it to have been okay, but they make the call. We felt that we played well enough to earn a tie, if not a win, and it's really heartbreaking for the girls.”
Elizabeth Forward weathered an early South Park flurry and quickly gained a territorial advantage. The Warriors had several outstanding opportunities, including a shot from sophomore forward Rachel Blackwell from 20 yards out that caromed off the crossbar 8:44 into the game and another four minutes later from 15 yards away by senior Macy Pekala that was smothered by Eagles goalkeeper Krista Mosi.
After South Park played the ball into the Warriors' zone, Pekala played the ball up quickly for an outlet pass that Pastore caught up to onside and behind the defense at the 30-yard line. Pastore dribbled for 10 more yards, then snapped off a shot that rolled just inside the left post past Mosi to give Elizabeth Forward a 1-0 lead at the 17:22 mark.
South Park tied the game when senior forward Taylor Barum picked up the loose ball along the right sideline from 25 yards out and lobbed a perfect crossing pass to the left side of the net where freshman defender Amanda Luffey headed it past junior goalkeeper Jennifer Keefer to tie the game, 1-1, at 25:56.
BV Area 11, East Allegheny 0
The Lady Leps find themselves tied atop Section 4 AA with South Park following its win.
“We were able to get a lot of girls playing time tonight,” BVA coach Paul Sasko said. “We were able to work on a few things within the game as well.”
Hayden Pascoe scored four times to give her a team-leading 19 goals on the season to pace BVA.
Caitlin Caldwell, Sarah McCullough, Emily Gagliardi, Maggie Lewis, Kelsy Lawson, Baylie Campbell and Heather Wells each added one goal apiece for the Lady Leps while Ashly Gagliardi recorded her ninth shutout of the season.
BVA, which has clinched a playoff spot, is at West Mifflin today in a section contest.
Ringgold 5, Albert Gallatin 1
Ringgold (6-5-1, 5-4) remains in the playoff hunt in Section 4 AAA following its win.
“It wasn't pretty but we will take it,” Ringgold coach Tom Cameron said. “We will take the wins regardless of how they look.”
Nicole Wills and Bailey Cooper each scored twice while Ali Dimoff added a goal.
The Lady Rams host Mt. Lebanon Wednesday in a section tilt.
South Allegheny 2, Charleroi 0
Charleroi (5-5-1, 5-3) dropped a contest to Section 2 A leader South Allegheny.
Charleroi had a “Pink Out” for Breast Cancer Awarness Month and both teams celebrated the event by getting together for a dual team photo at halftime.
The Lady Cougars, who currently hold down third place in the section, are at second place Bentworth Wednesday for a key section match.
Bentworth 3, Chartiers-Houston 3
Bentworth (8-4-1, 6-2-1) received both sides of the proverbial coin Monday night thanks to its Section 2 A tie.
The outcome means Bentworth's chances of winning a section title are all but gone, but it solidified its hold on a potential playoff spot.
Bentworth hosts Charleroi Wednesday in a section matchup.
Beth-Center 4, Monessen 0
Monessen (0-11, 0-10) dropped a Section 2 A contest at home.
The Lady Hounds are at Serra Wednesday in a section contest.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.