Gateway tops Oakland Catholic in two overtimes, 2-1
It took two overtimes, but Gateway stayed undefeated in Section 3-AAA play Monday with a 2-1 victory at Oakland Catholic.
Gators head coach Kevin Sanders said he like the way his team bounced back from a 3-1 nonsection loss to Penn-Trafford on Sept. 13.
“I think we were a little overconfident after the first three games (wins over Franklin Regional, Woodland Hills and Penn Hills),” Sanders said.
“We got away from our game a little bit against Penn-Trafford. (The girls) made some mistakes, but they knew they were correctable mistakes. We did some nice things (against Oakland Catholic).”
Sanders said everyone in Gateway gold and black thought the game ended in the second overtime when senior Carly Seneca rocketed a shot attempt from about 30 yards out.
The shot hit the left post and careened to the right of the net.
The Gateway offense kept the ball deep in Oakland Catholic territory and crossed it back toward the Eagles' net.
An Oakland Catholic defender knocked it out of play, giving Gateway a corner kick.
Gateway's corner kick was cleared, but the Gators didn't let the ball get out too far and moved it down deep again.
Sophomore Lizzie Pen- dice made a run and cross- ed the ball to the middle of the field, and junior Emily Stevens finished the ball for the game winner.
It was Stevens' first goal of the season.
Gateway fell behind Oakland Catholic 1-0 in the first half of Monday's game, but, Sanders said, there was a lot of time left to turn things around.
After several chances to tie the game, the Gators got the equalizer with about eight and a half minutes left in regulation.
Junior Hannah Feinberg took a cross from Seneca, settled the ball down and fired a successful shot past the Oakland Catholic goaltender.
“We weren't playing well in the first half,” Sanders said.
“They responded to a call out at halftime. They were motivated. We switched formations one minute (before the tying goal) and were in full offensive mode. We were really pressing offensively.”
Both teams, Sanders said, played a more defensive game for the rest of regulation.
“It had that feel that it was going into overtime,” he said.
“We made some subs to go back into regular formation to slow it down.”
Senior Rachel Rettger returned Monday after missing three games with a nagging ankle injury.
“She made a big difference,” Sanders said. “She didn't play the whole game. She came in as a reserve. With her on the field, we were able to move some players to create favorable matchups.”
Junior goalkeeper Allie Warsaw earned the victory in net.
“Allie played well,” Sanders said. “She made a nice save on a (first half) breakaway, but we weren't able to clear it. Oakland Catholic got a second opportunity and put it in (for the goal).”
Gateway was scheduled to host Allderdice on Wednesday, and it was a Section 3 match that was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.
The Gators will play Beaver Area on Saturday at 2 p.m. as part of the Hampton Tournament, an all-day series of top-flight matchups.
Beaver, a top WPIAL team in Class AA, beat Allderdice, 7-0, last Saturday.
Franklin Regional and North Allegheny kick off the showcase at noon, and Kiski Area plays Shaler at 4. The evening session features Central Valley and South Fayette at 6 and Springdale and Hampton at 8.
Gateway played Upper St. Clair at last year's Hampton showcase and suffered a 3-0 loss.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.