Plum girls soccer team captures first section title since 1988
The drought was approaching three decades.
A Plum varsity girls soccer team had last won a section championship in 1988.
There were several close calls in the 28 years since, but this year's Mustangs squad broke through.
Plum topped Section 3-AAAA rival Fox Chapel, 1-0, last Thursday to clinch a share of the section title at 9-1.
“After the first game against Fox Chapel (a 5-0 loss on Sept. 26), we really prepared for them in practices,” senior defender Brianna Schlegel said.
“We came out and were ready to beat them. It just took determination and focus from each player on the field. We made history, and I'm pumped.”
The Mustangs and Foxes have been section foes every season since 2008, and Plum was 0-16-1 against Fox Chapel in those years before coming out on top at home. A goal by senior Jasmyn Floyd off an assist from junior Jordyn Huemme with 22:11 left in regulation was the difference.
“Jordyn takes the ball wide, and I found a hole in the back,” Floyd said. “Jordyn made a nice pass, and I was able to put it in.”
“We were getting into their end and making good plays,” Huemme said.
“When Taylor (Oravetz) almost headed one in (off a corner kick at 27:21) that increased our momentum.”
The Mustangs defense and senior keeper Shannon Soboslay then kept Fox Chapel off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
“(The second half) was the longest second half of soccer I've ever played in my life,” Schlegel said with a laugh.
“Fox Chapel is such a talented team with really good scorers. We had to bear down and hold them off. I am so proud of everyone on this team.”
Floyd said this is one of the biggest wins in the history of the Plum girls soccer program.
“All the workouts over the summer really are paying off right now,” Floyd said.
Plum now is putting the final touches on its preparation for the WPIAL playoffs, which are to begin Saturday. The team hoped to polish its game Monday and Tuesday with nonsection contests against Franklin Regional, the co-champion of Section 1-AAA, and Kiski Area, a former section foe and 2016 playoff qualifier from Section 4-AAAA.
The pairings for the Quad-A tournament, including dates, times and locations, were to be released Wednesday, past the deadline for this week's edition.
The Mustangs are in the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
Last year, Plum defeated Moon in the first round before falling to eventual WPIAL champion Norwin in the quarterfinals.
Two years ago, the Mustangs, as the No. 14 seed, upset No. 3 Norwin in a shootout but lost to Moon in the quarterfinals.
“We have a good chance to come out and shock some people in the playoffs this year,” Schlegel said.
Head coach Caitlin Schuchert said she was pleased with how prepared her team was going into the Fox Chapel game.
“The past couple of weeks were so focused on the game against Fox Chapel,” she said. “Our first goal was to get that section title. I am demanding on them in practice, but they know their hard work has paid off. We achieved the goal of a section title, now we have to refocus for the next goal in the playoffs.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.