Belle Vernon girls soccer sees shutout streak end but shows off offense at Greensburg Salem
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 8:07 PM
Belle Vernon ran its winning streak to seven, but the Leopards made a rather quick exit after Tuesday’s early evening game in Greensburg.
Only minutes after the final horn, the girls soccer team’s bus was on the move, kicking up gravel in the parking lot behind Offut Field.
This was a team that was more perturbed than satisfied after allowing a pair of goals.
That is because the Leopards’ defensive standards have climbed significantly, as evidenced by another streak: four consecutive shutouts. But that run came to a halt in a 6-2 victory over Greensburg Salem.
Still, the Leopards, coming off an impressive 4-0 win over No. 5 and first-place Connellsville, remained in the hunt for the Section 2-3A title as they improved to 11-3, 8-2.
And this team still has plenty of offensive punch.
“We’re disappointed in the two goals, but we were coming off a huge game (Monday),” Leopards coach Tracy Lovett said. “We are also missing one of our top starting defenders (sophomore Kaylee Anoinic). But we got the job done, possessed well and found the back of the net.”
Both teams were playing back-to-back games.
Senior midfielder Morgan Einodshofer scored four goals and had two assists to pace Belle Vernon, which took a 4-0 lead 18 minutes in and led at halftime 5-1.
Greensburg Salem, aiming for a return to the WPIAL playoffs and its first winning season since 2014, dropped to 5-6 and 3-4.
“This is a building block for us,” Golden Lions coach Jessica Melodia said. “I thought we played well, but we kind of shot ourselves in the foot early in the game.”
Senior forward Kylie Smith had both goals to lead the Golden Lions, increasing her season total to 21. It was 6-2 after she scored on a penalty kick with 14 minutes left in the second half.
“Morgan controlled the game again in the midfield,” Lovett said. “(Senior defender) Adeline Guess was once again a leader in the back.
“Greensburg Salem has improved from last year.”
Belle Vernon jumped on the Golden Lions early as Einodshofer scored two minutes in off a pass from junior forward Faith Reader, an 18-goal scorer who was held scoreless but contributed two assists.
The duo hooked up again in the 11th minute with Einodshofer scoring from about 12 yards away.
Einodshofer assisted the next goal, finding freshman Ava Scalise to make it 3-0 in the 15th minute, before she reached a hat trick in the 20th minute for a four-goal advantage.
Einodshofer also has 21 goals and 12 assists.
Smith broke up the shutout with a score three minutes later.
Senior defender Chloe Morgan converted a corner kick early in the second half to make it 6-1.
Junior goalkeeper Victoria Rodriguez made eight saves for the Leopards.
“We had girls trying new runs and positions while trying to get comfortable on the ball,” Einodshofer said.
“We also had two valuable freshmen come back tonight from injuries after being out for weeks. Everyone contributed from the back line and Victoria, up through the mids, and to the forwards.
“We definitely still have some things to work on to prepare for the rest of the season.”
Greensburg Salem was 1-10-1 last season but is learning how to win again. It had won three of four coming in Tuesday’s game.
“We’re taking steps increasingly,” Melodia said. “If you don’t face adversity, you’re not going to get better. This is a process.”
Sophomore Shaeliyah Clendaniel and freshman Samantha Mincone added assists for the Leopards.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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