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Plum completes first-cycle sweep of section newcomers

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Plum Advance Leader
Gary Bills | Plum Advance Leader Plum sophomore Addie Jacobs pushes the ball upfield during a nonsection game against Franklin Regional last week.

The Plum varsity girls soccer team is 2-0 against the newcomers in Section 3-AAA.

Last week, the Mustangs outlasted Oakland Catholic, 3-2, in double overtime.

On Monday, Plum got goals from sophomore Taylor Dudding and freshman Ashley Amato in a 2-0 victory over Allderdice on the turf of Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh's South Side.

“I give Allderdice a lot of credit,” Plum head coach Mike Proviano said. “They played well. They kept their shape and played good defense. They kept us out of our 18 for most of the game. They stayed in their lanes and made it tough to get the ball into (junior striker) Aaliyah (Odom).”

Odom, who led the team in goals scored last year as a sophomore, tallied seven goals in Plum's first four games.

Dudding got Plum on the board about midway through the first half on an assist from sophomore Alex Pursh.

The Mustangs added some insurance approximately 10 minutes into the second half, as Amato deposited a corner kick from freshman Nicolette Casarcia into the back of the Allderdice net for a 2-0 advantage.

“Allderdice didn't have any shots in the first half, but I was still a little concerned,” Proviano said.

“They had three shots in the second half, and it only would've taken one to tie the game. So, I was pretty relieved when we got that second goal.”

Sophomore Madyson Strohl and freshman Chelsea Hubner again split goalkeeper responsibilities for Plum, which improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in section play ahead of a big home section contest Wednesday against Fox Chapel.

The match with the Foxes was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.

Allderdice had lost its first two section games to Penn Hills and Fox Chapel, each by 6-0 scores.

“Allderdice got smashed by a couple teams in the section, but they played hard against us and gave a good effort,” Proviano said. “It looks like they are improving.”

Proviano said the victory over Allderdice was a nice way to bounce back after a tough 3-2 overtime loss to Franklin Regional in a nonsection game at Plum on Sept. 6.

In that game, Plum held a 2-1 lead in the final seconds of regulation before the Panthers netted the equalizer.

“We talked a lot about the good things that came out of that game,” Proviano said. “The girls realize we have to do the little things to protect a lead. It's a learning process, and the girls will be better for experiences like that.”

Odom tallied both goals in the game against Franklin Regional, including the second on a breakaway to give Plum a 2-1 lead with 25:28 to play in the second half.

Amato and junior Jordan Campeau assisted on the goals.

Odom had all three goals in the overtime win against Oakland Catholic.

“We wanted to deny Odom the ball. When she gets the ball, she's always dangerous,” Franklin Regional girls head coach Rich Garland said after the game with Plum.

“She's as fast as anyone I've seen in the WPIAL. She's composed on the ball, and she buries it. She's a competitor, and we love to play competitors like her and tough teams like Plum.”

Plum steps away from section competition Saturday when it plays at Shaler at 7:30 p.m.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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