Playoff season builds excitement for future of Quaker Valley girls soccer

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Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Quaker Valley’s girls soccer team finished as a WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinalist this season.

The Quakers ended up 11-6-1 overall after going 6-5-1 in Section 1.

“Rachel and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Maggie Behun, QV’s co-head coach with Rachel Loudermilk. “These girls stepped to the plate and exceeded our expectations. Their hard work and dedication were exemplary.

“We had freshmen successfully defending upperclassmen opponents who are D1 and D2 commits. The lack of experience didn’t slow us down. If anything, it sped us up.”

Quaker Valley blanked Section 3’s second-place team, Southmoreland, 7-0, in an impressive first-round performance. The Scotties ended up 10-6 overall.

Three of the Quakers’ losses in 2023 came against defending state champion Avonworth, which tied for first in Section 1 with North Catholic.

“Our goals for the season were to progress through our section and make the playoffs,” Loudermilk said. “The girls played hard all season to make that happen, and they entered the playoffs as a nine seed going against an eight seed. We prepared well, watched film and the girls brought it with a 7-0 win. I think that just shows what a tough section we play in throughout the season.

“Then we had to face Avonworth, the returning state champ, in Round 2. The girls were ready, though, to face them for the third time this season. Our girls gave everything they had and were up 3-2 with 10 minutes left. It felt like it was our time. We ultimately ended up losing 4-3, but in my six years with the program, I have never seen a QV team play like that. Maggie and I could not be more proud of what these girls accomplished and what it means for seasons to come.”

The Quakers started out 5-1-1 and 7-2-1 and were 9-3-1 on Oct. 9 after a 2-1 section win in double overtime against Central Valley.

Two of the team’s leading players were junior defender Mia Modrovich and freshman forward Annabel Miko, who scored a team-high 18 goals.

Modrovich was named all-section and all-WPIAL for the second consecutive year.

The M&M girls were joined in the starting lineup by seniors Megan Campbell (D), Mia Strelec (M) and Grace Waller (GK), junior Anna Hanley (F/M), sophomores Emma Currier (D) and Ariana Bosh (M) and freshmen Eliza Rahm (F/M), Hope Waller (F/M), Maddie Gatehouse (M) and Joelle Muretisch (M).

Todd Strelec and Jessica Gresko served as assistant coaches.

Campbell earned both all-section and all-WPIAL honors.

“Together, Megan and Mia anchored our defense and brought a certain intensity and toughness that was hard to match,” Behun said. “Individually, Megan has always brought up those around her through her play and smart decision-making. We often tell the girls to represent themselves on and off the field, and Megan does just that.

“Mia is a force to be reckoned with and one of the smartest defenders in the league. She is fierce, and her soccer future is bright.”

A 5-foot-2 dynamo, Modrovich scored six goals this season as a center defender.

“That is huge,” Loudermilk said. “She is the type of player who can change a game, and it is fun to watch.

“It was nice to have Mia and Megan recognized together. They dominated on defense, which allowed the team to focus more on offense this year, and that brought us success.”

Eight of the 11 starters are expected back in 2024.

“We knew what our team goals were coming into this season, but the team was so young, we didn’t know if we’d be rebuilding or competing,” Loudermilk said. “The way these girls came together as a team and competed at a top level showed us all we need to know for next year.

“We are losing three key seniors: keeper Grace Waller, defender Megan Campbell and midfielder Mia Strelec. That leaves a hole, but this young wave of girls coming up through Quaker Valley are competitors who will no doubt be ready to push each other. So we are excited for what the next several years will bring.”

Behan was short but emphatic with her response on a 2024 forecast.

“Our early expectations are promising,” she said. “Watch out for QV next season.”

Quaker Valley tied for third place with Beaver in section play.

Behind a strong defense and the 5-4 Waller guarding the net, the Quakers posted seven shutouts and held seven other teams to one goal.

Overall, QV outscored the opposition 40-17, allowing an average of less than one goal per game.

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