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Vikings gain hard-fought win over Scotties

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001

ALVERTON - No matter what the sport, when Mount Pleasant and Southmoreland face off, fans can count on some pushing and shoving. Tuesday's boys soccer game was no exception, as three yellow cards were issued in the second half of the match-up between two undefeated Section 1-AA teams. When it was over, the Vikings took home a hard-fought 2-0 victory.

'It was a very physical game, and we were up to the task,' Mount Pleasant coach Mark Sobota said. 'It seemed like the more (the Scotties) pushed, the more we were able to step up and push.'

Southmoreland coach Marvin Stoner agreed that the contest was a battle.

'It was a good game. It was a hard game,' he said.

The visiting Vikings struck first, as Josh Sobota found the net on a pass from Dustin Terhorst about a minute and a half into the game.

'We stepped to the ball tonight real well,' Mark Sobota said, and Stoner added that Mount Pleasant entered the game with intensity.

'They came out harder than we did,' he said. 'We missed a shot and missed a few things. But it was a good, hard game.'

It was also a quick game, courtesy of a speedy Vikings offense. Soon after Josh Sobota's goal, Jim Wilkinson sent the ball to David Gesinski, who tried to slip a header past Scottie goalkeeper Steve Weimer. Weimer made the save, and he nearly had to make another on Gesinski, but Randy Grabiak put on a good defensive show to take possession of the ball.

Southmoreland's offense, though, was stopped several times well away from Mount Pleasant goalie Randy Higgins' net. Nick Cunningham made it through, though, avoiding a pair of Viking defenders and gunning for the net until Jason Bittel poked the ball away and out of bounds.

Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant kept the Scotties busy defending their own net, as Kevin Kobassa and Frank Rutkowsky each tried to get off a few shots. By the end of the first half, though, the Vikings still clung to a 1-0 lead.

Both teams came out on the attack as the second half got under way, and the added aggression resulted in yellow cards. It didn't result in more scoring, though, until midway through the period. Terhorst picked up a loose ball in front of the Southmoreland net and got it to Rutkowsky, who stuffed it in from the left side.

A few minutes later, Kobassa tried to make it 3-0, but Weimer made the stop. Terhorst nearly had a goal, but Brandon Hamrock deflected his shot away from the net, and Greg Lessman was there to help Weimer out as well.

With a minute and a half remaining, the Scotties saw perhaps their best chance to get on the board. Cunningham hustled to the ball, passing to Brad Clingan, who then raced toward Higgins' goal.

But the Mount Pleasant defense drove Clingan off the ball to keep the shutout intact, and the Vikings handed Southmoreland its first loss of the season.

'When we lost (defenseman) Brian Little at the beginning of the season, I was really concerned,' Mark Sobota said of his team's defense. 'But Scott Ferree has really stepped up and filled that gap.'

The Vikings (6-0, 7-0-1) will travel to Elizabeth Forward on Thursday, while the Scotties (6-1, 7-1) will play host to East Allegheny.

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