Burrell girls soccer continues dominance with easy win over Mt. Pleasant

Monday, October 21, 2019 | 8:31 PM

The Burrell girls soccer team’s dominance in the regular season extended to Monday’s WPIAL Class AA first-round game against Mt. Pleasant at Kiski Area.

The undefeated fourth-seeded Bucs led 4-0 at halftime and cruised to a 5-0 victory over the 13th-seeded Vikings.

“We will take this win and move forward with it,” Burrell coach Frank Nesko said. “We were very happy with the result. Mt. Pleasant is a good team. It was a good start. Now we move on to Thursday.”

Burrell (17-0) advanced to the quarterfinals for the third straight season and will face No. 5 Yough (15-1-1) on Thursday at a site and time to be determined. Yough was a 10-1 winner over Highlands on Monday.

Burrell beat Yough in the WPIAL first round last year, and the Cougars edged the Bucs in overtime in the quarterfinals two years ago.

Mt. Pleasant caps its season at 10-7.

“Burrell was impressive, and we knew that,” Mt. Pleasant coach Josh Pajak said. “I had seen them play. You just can’t get down early against them. The whole gameplan was to let them have possession but try to play a lot in the middle third of the field and work to counter. But they just didn’t give us much. My hat’s off to them.”

Burrell wasted no time in getting on the board.

Senior Allie Vescio, just 2 minutes, 2 seconds into the game, settled the ball shortly after a corner kick and lifted it into the back of the net over Vikings freshman goalkeeper Tiffany Zelmore.

Vescio added a second-half score to increase her team-leading season goal total to 29.

“Our plan was to come out, finish early to set the tempo and make sure we were comfortable with the game,” senior Maia Ferra said.

The Bucs controlled the majority of possession early and had several scoring chances after the first goal before cashing in again with 26:34 left in the first half.

Senior Danica Johnson accepted a through ball from Jordyn Kowalkowski and deposited it past Zelmore for a 2-0 lead.

Mt. Pleasant recorded its first shot in the 18th minute as senior Megan Liberoni stole the ball and moved in for a clear shot at 25 yards. But Burrell keeper Delaney O’Brien was there to make the save and keep the Vikings off the board.

The Bucs responded quickly. Ferra, less than two minutes after the Mt. Pleasant shot, scored on a free kick to extend Burrell’s advantage.

Senior Megan Malits tallied Burrell’s fourth goal with 8:09 left in the first half.

Burrell finished with a 28-3 shot advantage, and Zelmore ended the game with 23 saves for the Vikings.

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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