Gesinski sisters connect to lead Mt. Pleasant girls soccer past Southmoreland

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022 | 9:31 PM


Sisters Riley and Morgan Gesinski couldn’t wait to play varsity soccer together so they could make an impact for fast-rising Mt. Pleasant.

They are both good players individually, but they showed what they can do as a pair Wednesday night in an important road victory that kept Mt. Pleasant undefeated.

Sisters aren’t always in a sharing mood. But they were on this night.

Riley, a junior midfielder, and Morgan, a freshman forward, assisted on each other’s goals, and sophomore Rylin Bugosh had a hat trick and an assist as No. 3 Mt. Pleasant cruised past No. 2 Southmoreland, 6-1, in a matchup of Section 3-2A heavyweights.

Riley Gesinski had two goals.

“Playing with my sister is always something I wanted to do,” Morgan Gesinski said. “It was pretty cool for that to happen tonight. It was fun to play well in a game like this.”

Mt. Pleasant (8-0, 5-0), with its youth and speed, has allowed just two goals all season while scoring 40.

“After the first 20 minutes, we were right on target,” Mt. Pleasant coach Rich Garland said. “Our girls are learning to play as a team and playing with confidence.”

Undermanned Southmoreland (7-1, 4-1), which came in outscoring teams 44-4, played its second game without senior standout Olivia Cernuto, who is out for the season with a knee injury.

Cernuto had 18 goals this season and 100 for her career.

Mt. Pleasant had the upper hand offensively, outshooting the Scotties, 12-2.

“Mt. Pleasant is physically tough and tactfully sound,” Southmoreland coach Josh Pajak said. “They can beat you in multiple ways.”

The Scotties had won 20 straight at home during the regular season.

The teams split two regular-season games last year, but Southmoreland took a third meeting 1-0 in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

This time, Mt. Pleasant took a 3-1 lead into halftime with Bugosh connecting on a pair of goals.

Just like they did against Yough, the Vikings scored in the fourth minute. Bugosh managed to get deep behind the Scotties’ back line and delivered for a 1-0 lead.

“I think the first goals were a tone-setter for both teams,” said Bugosh, who also scored three goals in Monday’s 5-0 win over Yough. “We scored quickly, and their goal was like a wake-up call.”

About six minutes later, Southmoreland tied it when senior Cleveland State commit Kendall Fabery pushed in close, took the ball and made a quick move, scoring past freshman keeper Laurel Rummel on the edge of the goal line, nearly on a wrap-around shot.

Mt. Pleasant scored five unanswered goals from there, taking a 2-1 lead when the speedy Bugosh scored on a breakaway with 28:18 to play in the first half.

The Vikings continued to break down the Scotties’ defense and forced opportunities.

Morgan Gesinski sent in a free kick from 30 yards out, and Riley Gesinski was there to corral a deflection and finish to make it 3-1.

“We took what we did against Yough and applied it tonight,” Bugosh said.

Scoring chances were more limited in the second half, but the Vikings still managed added three more scores — in the 58th minute, when Gesinski finished a cross from Bugosh; when Bugosh tapped in a rebound with 7:55 to play; and when the Gesinskis hooked up again, Morgan to Riley — to make it 6-1 in the 40th minute.

“I told our girls, we can go about this one of two ways,” Pajak said. “We can get complacent and hope for the best, or we can remedy some things we didn’t do well.”

The teams traded yellow cards in the second half.

Rummel made four saves for Mt. Pleasant.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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