Mt. Pleasant builds state rankings case with 6-0 win over rival Southmoreland
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 | 10:55 PM
Mt. Pleasant could have made a fuss when the coaches’ state girls soccer rankings came out this week, and there was no mention of the Lady Vikings.
None. Not even an “others receiving votes.”
But, rather than complain, they decided to keep building their case for next week’s double-A top 10.
“I’m okay being under the radar,” coach Rich Garland said.
His team could be timed with a radar gun.
Mt. Pleasant did more offensive damage without its leading scorer, Rylin Bugosh, who did not play (concussion).
Mt. Pleasant (7-2, 5-0), which takes a one-game lead over the Scotties (5-3, 4-1) for first place, has outscored its nine opponents 63-3 and has not allowed a goal in section play.
The Vikings’ winning streak stands at six with every win coming via shutout led by their backers and goalkeeper Laurel Rummel.
Maddie Barrick and Morgan Gesinski each had two goals for the Vikings, who built a 4-0 lead by the half.
“Once we started connecting more, we were able to get going,” Barrick said. “We needed to be more creative off the ball.”
Barrick has six goals in the past two games.
Southmoreland had one shot on goal, and it didn’t come until the 79th minute.
Mt. Pleasant blitzed the Scotties with 23 shots.
“We worked hard, but (to have a chance) we had to keep it a 2-0 game in the first half,” Scotties coach Josh Pajak said. “When you get down 3-0 against a team like that, it’s really hard to come back.”
Barrick opened the scoring — finally, after eight shots missed or were saved — as she took an assist from Jaden Kantorik in the 11th minute.
It was the first goal the Scotties allowed in section play.
The Vikings kept Scotties keeper Autumn Bartos busy throughout a one-sided first half.
Two minutes later, Riley Gesinski delivered a cross to Maggie Piper, who made it 2-0.
“We were feeling them out,” Garland said. “The key was to not get too panicky and be cool, calm and collected. We’re building, and we try to get better and faster.”
While the first two goals felt hurried and urgent, the third was carefully crafted and even had an air of elegance.
With the offense stretched wide, Riley Gesinski sent a pass to Adi Gardner on the far side of the attack. Gardner then dumped off to a cutting Morgan Gesinski for an easy score and a 3-0 lead in the 33rd minute.
Just before the halftime horn, Riley Gesinski tapped in a rebound to increase the advantage to 4-0.
“Our girls want to make a run at a WPIAL title again, and they want to get back to states,” Garland said. “Our focus is each game right now, though. Today, it was Southmoreland. Next, it’s South Park.”
Riley Gesinski knocked in a goal early in the second half, and the score was followed shortly after by Barrick’s second goal, which came on a well-placed corner kick from Morgan Gesinski to make it 6-0.
Pajak knew his team was in for a challenge from the fast-paced Vikings.
“They have talent and are technically strong across the board,” Pajak said. “I thought Autumn (Bartos) played one of her best games for us.”
Bartos made 12 saves in the loss.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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