Penn-Trafford girls soccer gives Mars a scare before bowing out of playoffs
Sunday, October 30, 2022 | 11:01 AM
Penn-Trafford’s girls soccer season ended Oct. 24, but not without a valiant effort.
The Warriors’ battle against No. 1-seeded Mars went into overtime before the second-ranked team in the country pulled out a 1-0 victory.
The Planets averaged 6.8 goals per game this season, but the Warriors used a defensive approach to slow their high-scoring opponent.
“We frustrated them,” Penn-Trafford coach Jim Mastroianni said. “They were shocked and looked confused. They didn’t know what was going wrong for a team that usually scores at will.
“Our backline and goalkeeper were under fire all night. We put up a monumental effort.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Rease Solomon made more than 35 saves and received plenty of help from the backline of senior Mia Mauro (center back), junior Eilish Connolly (center back), sophomore Bryana Bennett (outside backer), freshman Anna Coy (outside backer) and sophomore forward Jessie Gadagno.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Mastroianni said. “We put together a defensive game plan and we followed it. Sure there were some tears after the game, but after they realized what they accomplished the bus ride home was a lot happier.”
Mastroianni said all the players stepped up, especially Solomon and Gadagno.
“Rease played out of this world,” he said. “She was diving to make stops and she was strong all season.
“Jessica played with an intensity and determination to get to the ball that is rarely seen. The girls truly rally around her play. She has been outstanding all year and certainly was against Mars.”
Penn-Trafford finished the season 8-7-4. The Warriors played in six overtime games, and Mastroianni said the team came a long way from the start of the season.
“This group has brought the program back to prominence,” Mastroianni said. “We’re a young team and they know what it takes to be a strong team. I’ve seen a lot of growth from them. After the game the players received a standing ovation from our fans. It was a great team effort.”
Penn-Trafford opened the playoffs by defeating Connellsville, 3-1, in a preliminary-round game Oct. 22.
Emelie Oslosky had two goals, including one on a penalty kick, and Gadagno added a goal and assist. Mauro also had an assist.
“These girls played with so much heart,” Mastroianni said. “We were confident that we could shock the world. It was a great game.”
While the season might be over, Penn-Trafford now has something to build on for next season.
The Warriors look to be back to prominence.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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