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Fennell, Grmusa offensive catalysts for Baldwin girls' soccer team

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

The Baldwin girls' varsity soccer team is hoping to pick up some momentum heading into the WPIAL playoffs.

The Lady Highlanders are slated to end their regular season with home games against Latrobe on Saturday afternoon, and local rival Thomas Jefferson on Monday night, in a pair of nonsection matchups.

The Baldwin girls opened this week tied for second place with Mt. Lebanon in Section 4-AAA with an 8-2 slate, two games behind undefeated Bethel Park (14-0, 10-0).

The local squad stormed past host Trinity by a 9-0 score on Monday.

“We have been successful to this point, but need to continue to win games against quality opponents,” Vicki Hritz, Baldwin's first-year head coach, said. “We split our games with Mt. Lebanon; we (had) our second game with Bethel Park on Wednesday.

“Obviously, the higher ranking we can get going into the playoffs, the better.”

Through 15 games, Baldwin had outscored the opposition by a commanding 74-16 overall margin thanks in large part to the offensive antics of Lydia Fennell, Amanda Grmusa, Alicia Mastroianni, Katy Pearson and Stephanie Mizla.

Fennell, a junior forward, and Grmusa, a junior midfielder, leads the team in goals with 12 and 11, respectively.

Mastroianni, a junior midfielder/forward, is next-in-line in the scoring column with 10 goals, followed by Pearson, a junior forward, with eight, and Mizla, a senior defender, with eight.

Mastroianni was the team's leading scorer in 2011 with 13 goals.

“We have five girls with at least (eight) goals, so we are getting contributions from quite a few players.” Hritz said. “Hopefully, this makes it harder for other teams to prepare defensively to play our team.”

Baldwin opened the season by winning seven of its first eight contests, which included six shutouts posted by junior goalkeeper Liz Spegar.

The Lady Highlanders opened this week with a 10-4 overall record.

Defensively, the local squad has been led by the likes of seniors Nicole Venturino and Miranda Kuzman, sophomore Kelsie Balsam, along with senior Tori Scott and junior Sam Yule, on defense and at midfield.

Scott is a fourth-year varsity starter.

Other integral players for the Lady Highlanders include Carly Baumann, a junior midfielder/forward; and Alexa Stahl, a senior midfielder.

“Our goal all season has been to make the playoffs,” Hritz said. “We have continued to improve on facing up to the goal when we are on offense, and having more of an attacking mindset. We want to play more north-south, and not always resort to going east-west.”

Spegar, in her first year as a varsity starter at the goalkeeper position, had nine shutouts through 15 games.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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