Plum girls soccer team realizes goal by making playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In the summer, the Plum girls soccer team worked out at Larry Mills Park, and the players would run up a particular hill and scream, “Playoffs!”
The motivational tool got the team focused on a big goal for the season, senior defender Kara Ioannou said.
Plum has since realized that goal, while ending a decade-long drought.
The Mustangs defeated Penn Hills, 2-0, last Monday to clinch the program's first trip to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs since 2002.
“I am so excited,”said Ioannou, who was charged with the task of marking Brie Cook, Penn Hills' top offensive threat. “The seniors and the whole team talked about this since the summer. Those summer workouts were for moments like this.”
Plum improved to 6-4-2 in section play and held an insurmountable five-point lead over Penn Hills for the third and final playoff spot heading into the teams' section finales.
Plum finished 9-6-2 and will await its first-round opponent, which the WPIAL will reveal Wednesday.
Gateway and Fox Chapel will be the top two teams representing Section 3 in the playoffs. The Gators clinched the section title Monday with a 2-1 victory over the Foxes.
“The girls have fought hard all season for this,” Plum coach Mike Proviano said.
“We played hard in the second half and wore Penn Hills down. For some reason, I was thinking 2-0 all day (before the game). I am so glad it worked out that way.”
Plum has had some close calls and experienced frustration since making the playoffs in 2002.
In 2003, the Mustangs went 9-4-1 in section play but finished fourth to Franklin Regional (13-0-1), Penn Hills (10-3-1) and Gateway (8-3-3). Plum also was 9-4-1 in 2007 but finished behind Gateway (10-4) for the final playoff spot from the section.
The 2004, '05 and '06 teams also finished with above-.500 records in section play but weren't able to crack the top three in competitive sections.
“It feels good, because we've worked so hard this season,” junior forward Aaliyah Odom said. “I'm so happy we were able to work as a team and get this.”
Odom had a hand in both goals last Monday. She crossed a pass to freshman Ashley Amato, who scored to break a scoreless tie with about 26 minutes left in the second half.
The Mustangs got an insurance goal with six minutes left to play, as freshman Alyssa Proviano beat a Penn Hills defender down the left wing and set Odom up with a left-footed cross. Odom did the rest, as she headed the ball into the Indians' net.
The defense and freshman goalkeeper Chelsea Hubner kept Penn Hills scoreless the rest of the way.
“There's no stopping us now,” senior Megan Reddick said.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wolf says he’ll work with state legislature to deal with pension woes
- Lights, action, graffiti: Pittsburgh stands in for NYC in ‘Southpaw’
- Paterno son, another ex-football assistant coach suing PSU
- Federal appeals courts disagree on Obamacare subsidies
- Pittsburgh officer honored for saving baby’s life
- Mt. Lebanon lineman Hoffman commits to Penn
- Toyota follows hybrid success with gamble on fuel cell technology
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- Pittsburgh mayor promotes 3 officers, 2 firefighters
- Officials to limit tailgating before Jason Aldean concert at PNC Park
- ‘Slenderman’ attack victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous well wisher