Springdale advances against stubborn Mt. Pleasant
SPRINGDALE: After nearly 30 minutes of scoreless play Tuesday night, Section 3-AA champion Springdale was looking for that breakthrough goal.
It finally came with 10:50 to go in the first half and Springdale never looked back as the Dynamos cruised to a 5-1 victory over Mt. Pleasant in a first-round WPIAL Class AA playoff game at rainy Springdale High School Field.
Brittany Loveland's goal, off a pass from Alexa Sarsfield, put Springdale in control. Another goal from Loveland and one by Ally Overly put the Dynamos ahead, 3-0, at intermission.
Springdale willplay Freedom in a quarterfinal round game Thursday at a site and time to be determined. Freedom defeated Seton-La Salle Tuesday.
It was Springdale's first playoff win since 2001.
"You're always waiting for something to set the tone of the game," Springdale first-year coach Jerry Concannon. "It took us about 15-20 minutes to get into a rhythm, and once we got into that rhythm, we were OK."
Mt. Pleasant coach Kelli Belanger thought keeping the game close would pay dividends.
"We knew they were a tough, solid team, but I thought we could match up with them pretty well," Belanger said. "We knew the longer we could go without giving up a goal, the better we would be."
Mt. Pleasant had an excellent chance for a goal just before the first-half buzzer. Alyssa Tlumack nearly broke loose near the Springdale goal mouth, but Breanne Loveland broke up the play and saved a possible goal that would have given the Vikings momentum heading into the second half.
"That could have made a difference," Belanger said. "We wanted try and get one in before halftime. We had some excellent opportunities, but they have a great goalkeeper."
Springdale's Kim Bentley made some outstanding saves to preserve the shutout. In one sequence, she came out of the goal area and snatched the ball from Laura Tlumack before she could shoot. She also made a leaping save on another shot moments later.
"Kim's a great goalkeeper. She's one of the better keepers in this section, and as a matter of fact, she's All-WPIAL," Concannon said.
Springdale finished the scoring with goals by Casey Overly and Katie Jo Paul to put the game out of reach.
But with 30.5 seconds left, after Springdale was called for clipping, a penalty kick by Tlumack broke up the shutout. The goal tied the school's all-time career scoring record of 76.
"This was Laura's last game, so that was important to her and important to the team," Belanger said. "The girls were up to the challenge, and obviously, the game didn't go the way we wanted it to."
Mt. Pleasant was making its eight consecutive WPIAL playoff appearance.