Penn-Trafford's win creates 3-team section tie
Leave it to Penn-Trafford to make things interesting in Section 1-AAA girls soccer.
Beating Norwin on its home field in the first of two meetings between the schools, well, that was just a bonus.
Penn-Trafford (7-3-0, 5-1-0) got the only goal it needed midway through the first half, then packed it in defensively against a strong Norwin (7-1-1, 5-1-0) attack as the Warriors came away with a 2-0 victory at Norwin Knights Stadium. Penn-Trafford has won five consecutive games since a Sept. 12 loss to Franklin Regional.
“I think we were behind the play the whole game,” Norwin coach Jeff Palm said. “I don't know if we were pressing too much or excited because of who we were playing against, but they seemed to be just a bit off their game.”
With the victory, Penn-Trafford created a three-way tie atop the Section 1-AAA standings with Norwin and Franklin Regional. Norwin defeated Franklin Regional, 2-1, in overtime Sept. 17.
Norwin owned a huge territorial advantage in the first half and peppered shot after shot toward the Penn-Trafford cage. There was such a disparity that the Warriors never really got close to the Knights' net.
As it turned out, they didn't need to.
Sophomore Kristen Swope dribbled the ball to the right football sideline near the 10-yard line and lofted a shot at the Norwin net. Knights goalkeeper Cayla Imbarlina was helpless as she watched the ball sail over her head and land perfectly in the top-left corner of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 17:19.
To add insult to injury, it wasn't even a real shot.
“It was a cross and we'll take it, because it doesn't matter how it goes in for us,” Penn-Trafford coach Rick Nese said. “I would say, in terms of possession, they had the better of the play, but we did good things with our opportunities.”
Norwin had many scoring chances, especially in the first half, but it could never really get off that one quality shot it needed to tie the score. Perhaps the best opportunity came with 11:52 remaining in the half when Kara Batey took a pass and rifled a slot on net from 8 yards away, but Penn-Trafford goalkeeper Kayla Dipaolo came out of the net to challenge, lunged to her left and smothered the ball.
Penn-Trafford's Casey Aunkst made sure that there would be no Norwin comeback when she scored off a quick set from an indirect free kick from 17 yards out with 7:59 remaining in regulation. She actually scored twice, but the first one was called back because the official did not see the Warriors use a quick tap pass to set up the first shot.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161, Ext. 1977.