Latrobe girls soccer team gets better of Franklin Regional

Monday, October 10, 2022 | 12:01 AM

Faster and more physical in the second half, Latrobe seemed to find another gear when it needed to and earned a Section 3-3A girls soccer sweep of visiting Franklin Regional on Monday night with a 2-0 victory before 360-plus fans at Rossi Field.

A matchup of WPIAL playoff teams was all Latrobe (8-2-2, 8-1-1), which peppered standout keeper Aris Lamanna with 17 shots, clamped down defensively and sped up the offense to bat away the Panthers (9-4-2, 6-3-1).

Bowling Green commit Regan Reilly scored both goals as Latrobe stretched its unbeaten streak to eight with its fifth consecutive shutout, its eighth clean sheet of the season.

“We have really improved as the season has gone on,” Reilly said. “We are playing with more confidence. The Plum win really showed us what we can do.”

The momentum from a 1-0 win over No. 2 Plum carried over for the Wildcats, who shuffled some players around to sharpen the attack against the defensive-minded Panthers.

Reilly went from the back line to the midfield, Annalyse Bauer and Mackenzie Kubistek slid over to center-mid and Robin Reilly moved to the top of the formation.

As a result, Bauer and Robin Reilly each notched an assist.

“Our approach in the second half of the season has been don’t compromise the attack to bolster the defense,” Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison said. “We gave some girls opportunities to step up in new roles, and they embraced it.”

For Franklin Regional, it was just the second time in three years it lost by more than one goal.

The Panthers are 9-0-2 this year when they score at least one goal. They saw a six-game unbeaten streak come to an end.

“These (Latrobe) girls are all on top club teams,” Panthers coach Scott Arnold said. “They moved Regan from fullback to winger and had Regan on the front line out, to score more. We knew we had to take advantage of the few chances we’d have. We don’t mind defending. We embrace games like this.”

After a scoreless first half, Latrobe shifted gears, widened the field and took command.

Using their perimeter quickness and passing ability, the Wildcats scored a pair of goals in a seven-minute span.

Bauer dribbled in front to draw out Panthers standout keeper Aris Lamanna.

As Lamanna closed out, Bauer attempted a shot, which bounced off the keeper and came to Regan Reilly, who finished to make it 1-0 in the 44th minute.

The Wildcats showcased a Reilly-to-Reilly connection shortly after the opening score. With the offense on the move to put the Panthers’ back-liners on their heels, Robin Reilly took a cross from Regan Reilly but, like Bauer, ended up with an assist over a shot.

Or was the siblings’ hookup an “assist-er?”

Regan took the give-and-go and scored to give Latrobe a 2-0 advantage in the 51st minute.

“We knew we had trouble scoring on them from outside the box before,” Regan Reilly said. “We made some unselfish plays. We played quick. (Franklin Regional) is very compact in the back.”

Robin Reilly had the lone goal when the Wildcats edged Franklin Regional, 1-0, earlier.

“We needed to do a better job on set pieces,” Arnold said. “We scored a nice goal off a corner against Gateway. We weren’t able to make anything happen tonight.

James Madison commit Sofia DeCerb made two saves for Latrobe to earn another shutout.

Lamanna made four stops.

Latrobe has outscored its last eight opponents 40-1.

Arnold has coached or worked with a number of Latrobe girls on his Hotspurs club team, including Regan Reilly and DeCerb.

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

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