Mt. Pleasant girls soccer stays unbeaten, tops Southmoreland

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | 9:49 PM


Usually this late in the girls soccer regular season, section games are precious and carry heavy meaning in the standings.

Unbeaten Mt. Pleasant already had secured its first section title since 2016 and a WPIAL playoff spot by the time it hosted rival Southmoreland on Wednesday night.

But the No. 1-ranked Vikings still believe there is plenty of work to do. They have their sights on an undefeated regular season and a top seed when the postseason opens next weekend.

They kept both prospects in play with a 6-0 victory over the Scotties in a Section 3-2A game at Viking Stadium.

“Finishing undefeated is our ultimate goal,” midfielder Riley Gesinski said. “It’s what we’re working for.”

High-toned Mt. Pleasant (14-0, 9-0) has outscored its opposition 90-5 across 14 games. The Vikings have 10 shutouts.

Gesinski had two goals, Rylin Bugosh added two goals and an assists and Morgan Gesinski scored a goal and assisted on another in the victory, which capped a season sweep of the Scotties (9-3-1, 6-3-1).

“We haven’t talked much about (an undefeated record),” Mt. Pleasant coach Rich Garland said. “We talk about and prepare for each game, one at a time. At the end of the Yough game, my daughter (assistant coach Jessica Garland) said to the girls, ‘Guess what? You just won the section championship.’ The girls were surprised. They are just so focused on each game.”

Playoff-bound Southmoreland, which came in on a three-game unbeaten streak that followed an upset loss to Woodland Hills, had posted three straight shutouts.

But the Scotties gave up a pair of scores in the first half to the Vikings and their fast-paced attack, and four more after the break.

“They are a unique team with the way they play,” Southmoreland coach Josh Pajak said of Mt. Pleasant, a team he used to coach. “They play that 3-5-2 with the two forwards up top, and it’s tough to prepare for. I thought we played well the first 30 minutes. You have to try and make it a one-goal game with them.”

Mt. Pleasant took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute on a gem of a free kick by defender Maggie Piper.

Lining up from 40 yards away, Piper sent a low-lining strike on frame that soared out of the reach of Scotties’ keeper Autumn Bartos and dropped into the top right corner of the net.

In the 31st minute, Riley Gesinski took a cross from her sister, Morgan, and buried it past Bartos for a 2-0 advantage.

Four more goals came in the second half. Morgan Gesinski connected straight away from 25 yards for the third goal in the 65th minute.

“Our girls bring their gifts and put in the work,” Rich Garland said. “I just try to put them in a position to have success.”

Riley Gesinski made it 4-0 a minute later on a quick touch after Bugosh’s throw-in.

A determined Bugosh carried the ball to the center and connected for her first score, then delivered an angled strike from the left side to make it 6-0 with about four minutes to play.

“The girls are learning to play together,” Rich Garland said. “They have embraced it.”

Mt. Pleasant outshot the Scotties, 19-5.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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