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With a Monday win, Lady Rams are in

Louis Raggiunti | For the Pine Creek Journal - Pine-Richland goalie Hayley Wessel kept the Lady Titans off the scoreboard in a game Pine-Richland had to win tio stay alive for the playoffs.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Louis Raggiunti | For the Pine Creek Journal</em></div>Pine-Richland goalie Hayley Wessel kept the Lady Titans off the scoreboard in a game Pine-Richland had to win tio stay alive for the playoffs.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Pine Creek Journal - Shaler senior Rachel Delancy helped the Lady Titans keep the game close in the first half.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Louis Raggiunti | For the Pine Creek Journal</em></div>Shaler senior Rachel Delancy helped the Lady Titans keep the game close in the first half.

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Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 6:56 p.m.
 

Getting to the playoffs for the Pine-Richland girls soccer team always is a goal, but this season the playoffs started early for the Lady Rams.

Dropping a few tough 1-0 games within the section put the Lady Rams behind the proverbial eight-ball. With Seneca Valley winning the section, and Hampton following a close second, Pine-Richland needed to win its final three section games to claim that last spot.

A 6-0 win over North Hills Monday night coupled with a 2-0 win against Shaler Wednesday night, sets up a showdown on Oct. 15 against North Allegheny with playoff hopes on the line.

In order for that game to have the onus it does, the Lady Rams scored two second half goals against Shaler.

Olivia Brandy blasted the ball from around the 18-yard line, which curved just enough over the goalkeeper's head to allow the Rams to take the lead, 1-0.

Not long after, Erin Rodgers put the game out of reach with her goal, making it 2-0.

“I got the pass and it hit right off my foot and into the net,” Rodgers said. “I volleyed it, and it went in.

“This win really boosts our confidence.”

A near perfect pass to Brandy and an open shot, set the tone early in the second half.

“We have been rusty with so many players coming back from injuries,” Brandy said. “We came in with the mindset that this game was critical.”

Pine-Richland head coach Jodi Chmielewski said her team played pretty well despite playing into Shaler's hands in the first half.

“They forced us into taking those long-range shots,” Chmielewski said. “We needed to work in with shorter passes.

“These last three games have been playoff games, but the girls have responded to the pressure and played well.”

Pine-Richland will host North Allegheny on Monday at 7:30 p.m. with their playoff lives on the line.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com .

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