Charleroi still in playoff chase
CHARLEROI -- After enduring a week that was more soap opera than soccer, Charleroi Area High girls' coach Dan Haywood could finally do something he enjoyed Monday night: coach the Lady Cougars.
Charleroi won a game it needed to stay alive for the WPIAL playoffs, defeating visiting Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 3-1, on Senior Night in a Class AA Sec. 2 game.
Two issues became the center of attention for Haywood late last week:
Sophomore star forward Deanna Martorella did not play last Thursday in a non-section game against Belle Vernon Area because her father was concerned that the Lady Leps' physical style of play could leave her injured.
Haywood was not pleased by the decision, and rumors spread that Martorella was not going to the play the rest of the season.
But she was in uniform last night, scoring the game's first two goals.
"Everything is fine with her," Haywood said. "She's an excellent player."
The other problem facing Haywood last week was mysterious scheduling.
The Lady Cougars were scheduled to face Vincentian Oct. 10, but the game was changed to Oct. 3. This would have been fine, if Haywood had known of the switch.
Haywood said Charleroi athletic director Vince Vitori knew of the change, but did not tell him Thursday when they spoke. Vitori then informed the team Friday afternoon that they were to play that day against Vincentian.
Charleroi (7-7-2, 7-3-2) lost the important section game, 6-0, while playing without three starters who did not know the game was taking place.
"That game could have cost us the playoffs," Haywood said. "I only knew about it because I ran in to one of my players at a gas station before the game."
As for last night's game, the Lady Cougars (7-7-2, 7-3-2) controlled play from the opening kickoff.
Martorella opened the scoring at the 7:08 mark when she placed a shot underneath the crossbar and inches from the left post to beat goalkeeper Michelle Majersky.
Martorella scored again later in the half, lofting a shot from 20 yards over Majersky, off the bottom of the cross bar, and in to make it 2-0.
Just two minutes later, Kristin Muncie took a crossing pass from Jessica Dury and scored to give the Lady Cougars a commanding 3-0 lead.
"We played pretty well tonight," Haywood said. "We had to win tonight, and we have to win our next game (Wednesday at home against South Fayette). We still have some things to work on, but we have some young, talented players."
The Lady Cougars were not as crisp in the second half, and Our Lady of Sacred Heart (2-12-1, 1-10-1)finally scored with 4:36 left when Lauren McCutcheon beat goal keeper Molly Baker to a loose ball and scored into an empty net.
"We're going to need some help to get into the playoffs, but we'll do what we can," Haywood said.
NOTES: The five seniors honored before the game were Alex Byers, Kim Marsich, Rebecca Stottlemyer, Dury, and Muncie.