Mt. Pleasant girls soccer team comes up short in PIAA semis

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | 9:57 PM


Mt. Pleasant’s dream run to the PIAA Class 2A girls soccer championship ended Wednesday at Slippery Rock.

A stifling defense and a lucky bounce off the post helped District 10 runner-up General McLane to a 3-0 victory in the semifinals.

General McLane (16-5-1) will face Central Columbia at 10 a.m. Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School for the title.

The Vikings (21-3), the WPIAL runner-up, were attempting to make their first trip to the championship game. And, with only six seniors on the roster, things look promising for the future.

“I would hope this leaves a bad taste in our underclassmen’s mouth,” Mt. Pleasant coach Rich Garland said. “When you get this far, you can taste the opportunity to play for a state championship is pretty special.

“This has been a special group all season long. We are happy where we are at and what we have coming up, but I couldn’t be more proud of the seniors (Sophia Gonofsky, Emma McKee, Cassidy Fullman, Sierra Probst, Camden McCormick and Marissa Garn).”

But the Vikings offense had a rough time generating an attack against the Lancers’ defense in front of goalkeeper Bella Dibble, who made only 5 saves.

“We were a little frantic early on, but, once we calmed down, we started generating some opportunities in front of the net,” Garland said. “General McLane beat us. Kudos to them, and hopefully they can win a state championship.”

General McLane (16-5-1) got an early goal from leading scorer Brooklyn Respecki, whose shot hit the post to the left of Mt. Pleasant goalkeeper Laurel Rummel and then spun behind her and rolled into net.

“This is amazing,” General McLane coach Josh Hopkins said. “We’ve worked hard, and we’re still going. Togetherness is the reason why we’re playing so well. We have great senior leadership, and we’re clicking at the right time.”

The score stayed 1-0 into the second half, when Sam Johnson converted on a corner kick with 29:59 left for a 2-0 lead.

Hopkins said getting the first goal of the game against the wind was huge.

“We’ve been defending well at all levels,” Hopkins said. “It was a good team effort. Mt. Pleasant is a good team, and 13 (Rylin Bugosh) is a special player. We also had to watch 71 (Maddie Barrick) coming in from the side.”

Respecki scored her second goal of the game with 11 minutes left to make it 3-0.

“We came up a little short,” Garland said. “We congratulate the players for being smart, but the effort they put forth and willingness to create and be disciplined about our play, that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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