Mt. Pleasant girls soccer team sprints to victory over Greensburg Salem
Intermittent rain and soggy playing conditions did little to slow a Mt. Pleasant girls soccer team intent on flying all over the field during Monday's Section 1-AA home match against Greensburg Salem.
The Vikings (9-6-1, 7-2-1) started fast and never let up in a 3-0 victory over the Golden Lions. The teams came into the game tied for second place in the section, but early on it was clear that Mt. Pleasant was playing at a faster tempo.
“We emphasized (a fast start),” Mt. Pleasant coach Josh Pajak said. “We've been inconsistent, especially in the first half, and the girls definitely responded to the challenge. They came out and played hard.”
Mt. Pleasant took control of the game early. Five minutes in, Chrissy Kiral sent a shot past Greensburg Salem keeper Taryn Six to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
The Vikings' quick start to the game seemed to catch the Golden Lions (6-3-1, 8-5-1) off guard.
“I think we had a rough start, and they came out and got up early,” Golden Lions coach Jackie Fawcett said, noting that her team was expecting to play another tight game, similar to the 1-1 tie the teams forged earlier this season at Greensburg Salem. “I think that kind of set us back.”
Mt. Pleasant's attack continued late into the half, and Lexi Grosser made her team's hard work pay off by beating a defender high in the box and sending a low liner past Six to make it a two-goal game. Anna Billey assisted on both of Mt. Pleasant's first-half scores.
“In the tie game, we didn't come out fast,” Pajak said. “We knew we had to get up on them, and that's what we were able to do.”
Mt. Pleasant scored again early in the second half when Billey blasted a long-range shot into the back of the net off an assist from Bri Lazur.
After Mt. Pleasant's third goal, the Golden Lions got several scoring opportunities off corner kicks.
“It took us until the third goal to start playing harder,” Fawcett said.
However, Courtney Zelmore thwarted seven Greensburg Salem shots to earn the shutout.
“We finally played 80 good minutes against a good team,” Pajak said. “We had a setback against South Fayette (a 2-0 Mt. Pleasant loss on Saturday), but the girls responded well.”
Both teams will play nonsection home games Wednesday. Greensburg Salem hosts North Catholic, and Mt. Pleasant faces Ligonier Valley.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.