Moon girls Blank Villa Joseph Marie To Defend PIAA Class 3A Soccer Championship
Saturday, November 18, 2017 | 11:17 PM
By David Bohr for TribLive.com
HERSHEY — Moon left no question as to which girls soccer team is the current dominant power in Class 3A in Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, winning its second straight PIAA title and its 43rd game in a row with a 1-0 victory over Villa Joseph Marie at Hersheypark Stadium.
The only debate after the Tigers (26-0) collected their gold medals was: which is more meaningful, two straight titles or 43 straight wins?
“I think 43 in a row,” Moon coach Bill Pfeifer said. “We didn’t skip anybody. … It included six 4A teams that made the playoffs.”
Senior Delany Snyder took the other side.
“Two state titles,” said the Miami (Ohio) recruit. “It takes a lot to get here, and to get here again is special.”
Maybe Pfeifer can discuss their views on the bus ride home. A year ago, after beating Villa Joseph Marie, 2-1, in the 2016 final, it was the bus ride home when the Tigers started discussing their chances of going back-to-back. That they were playing the Jems (19-2-1) again on Saturday made it a bit easier.
“We could look at film and we knew some of the player’s tendencies,” Pfeifer said.
Of course, that was true for Villa Joseph Marie too, and overall the defenses kept the opposing forwards under wraps.
But Snyder had one play where no one could stop her.
Late in the first half, when she gained control 35 yards from the goal, she made a move right to beat one defender, then cut back left to beat another. She put a right-footed shot into the left side of the net for the game’s only goal with 8 minutes, 10 seconds left before halftime.
“I thought I couldn’t do it,” Snyder said of her 56th goal of the season.
Pfeifer was a little more confident as the play took place.
“She looked up, placed the ball, and had good technique,” Pfeifer said. “She was determined.”
Determined, yes. But Snyder said her success also came from refining her game since last year’s championship matchup.
“I had to develop maturity in my game,” Snyder said. “I needed to be calm, cool and collected to execute.”
Moon had a 4-3 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-3 advantage in corners, although they only had a couple of other big chances outside of Snyder’s goal. Ana Molnar had a good shot on a corner in the first half, and a corner by Emily Orr in the second half looked like it was curving into the net. But both of those plays were stopped by Jems goalie Maria Tunney.
Likewise, Villa Joseph Marie had only a handful of legitimate chances to score. The last of those came with under eight minutes to go, when the Jems’ final corner resulted in a header that was wide left of the net.
Tigers goalie Madison Sleva made three saves for the shutout.