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South Allegheny girls soccer team records shutout

| Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, 10:52 p.m.

It would have been virtually impossible for the South Allegheny girls soccer team to continue at the torrid goal-scoring pace it had set in the early part of the season.

After all, the Gladiators had popped in 33 goals in three games and, not surprisingly, all wins against three teams in East Allegheny, section foe Monessen and Riverview that went into Monday's games with a combined 1-8-0 mark.

Scoring was bound to tighten up once South Allegheny delved deeper into Section 2-A competition, and it did. But even though the final was a bit closer, the end result was the same as the Gladiators (4-0, 2-0) rolled to a 3-0 victory Monday at Chartiers-Houston.

“Overall I was happy,” South Allegheny coach Jesse MacPherson said. “Char-Houston always plays us tough, and they're a very physical team, and I thought we did a good job of creating a lot of opportune chances and putting them home.”

The Gladiators have shut out the Bucs the last four meetings since a 2-1 home loss Sept. 22, 2010.

This time around, senior forward Shannon Wygonik scored two goals, both assisted by freshman Amber Brownfield, in the first half, but was turned away on several opportunities to tack on a third to complete the hat trick. Instead, it was fellow senior, midfielder Alyssa Ashcroft, who added a late insurance goal to help South Allegheny maintain its average at 9 goals per game.

The Gladiators play at Charleroi on Wednesday, a team they lost to last season, and they still have two games left against 2011 section co-champions Serra Catholic and Bentworth.

“This is the strongest team that I've had in my three years of coaching, and Serra always play us especially tough, and Bentworth, I don't know their roster situation, but they have their best players back, too,” MacPherson said. “I like my team's chances because we're better than we were last year.”

It certainly bodes well considering that South Allegheny went 12-4-2 and lost a disheartening 1-0 game to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the opening round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs. What also helps the Gladiators is that there were no radical revisions to the section as part of the WPIAL's biennial realignment as the 2011 participants are the same as in 2012. That means the team won't have to learn about any new foes.

Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kbarnes@tribweb.com or 412-664-9161, Ext. 1977.

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