Burrell blanks Deer Lakes, maintains hold on section lead

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 10:58 PM

The Burrell girls soccer team broke through 12 minutes into the first half of Wednesday’s Section 2-AA clash with rival Deer Lakes.

The Bucs, No. 2 in this week’s Trib Class AA rankings, then added on in the second half and came away with a 3-0 victory at Lancers Stadium.

“We’re really happy with this win,” said senior forward Danica Johnson, who scored five minutes into the second half to give Burrell a two-goal advantage.

“We knew it was going to be challenging facing Deer Lakes because they are just as good as we are, but we really put in the effort tonight and pulled out a win.”

The triumph gave Burrell (12-0, 8-0) a game-and-a-half lead on the rest of the section with four games remaining and completed the season sweep of Deer Lakes (9-2-1, 7-2).

“Deer Lakes, in my opinion, is one of the better teams in WPIAL 2A, and to be able to do what we did with our possession and our defense, I was really happy,” said Burrell coach Frank Nesko, who saw his team outshoot the Lancers, 16-2.

“I thought the girls stayed poised the whole time. They made some really good decisions with the ball and off the ball. They kept their heads and were able to keep thinking about good soccer.”

The Class AA No. 4 Lancers, who face Class A playoff contender McGuffey on Thursday, fell into a second-place tie with Freeport, which had the section bye Wednesday.

The Bucs and Lancers played even through the opening 10 minutes. But Burrell then drove the ball deep into Deer Lakes territory and forced a corner kick.

Junior midfielder Megan Malits took the kick and bent the ball towards the goal. Lancers keeper Gabby Weber tried to deflect the ball away from the goal but was unable to keep it from going in.

“We started the game in a new formation, and it was working for us early,” Deer Lakes coach Frank Accetta said.“We had them bottled up. But they don’t give you too much, and when they have all those players firing on all cylinders, they are a tough team to beat. I don’t care who you are. You have to play an error-free game against them.

“We made a few mistakes tonight, and we paid for them. What happened tonight, though, wasn’t for lack of effort. You give full props to Burrell. They played a tremendous game.”

Burrell continued to put a lock on possession early in the second half.

Johnson’s goal came as she cleaned up a loose ball at about 8 yards and fired it in for the score.

Eleven minutes later, senior forward Allie Vescio gave her team some additional insurance as she boomed a shot from 35 yards that found its way past Weber for the score.

“We still have a lot to play for, and we’re going to keep working hard,” Johnson said.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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