Plum girls soccer team routs Gateway in playoff opener
Monday, October 26, 2020 | 9:07 PM
Plum needed penalty kicks in last season’s WPIAL Class AAA first-round girls soccer matchup to get by neighboring Gateway on its way to an eventual championship-game appearance.
There was no overtime drama in Monday’s WPIAL rematch.
The undefeated and No. 2 Mustangs scored three times in the first half and added three over the final 40 minutes for a 6-0 victory over the No. 15 Gators at Plum’s Mustangs Stadium.
“The girls played well,” Plum coach Jamie Stewart said. “We talked about coming out and applying a lot of pressure in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game, and we did that. We moved the ball well and used both sides of the field.”
Plum (14-0) advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinals and will host a rematch with section foe Thomas Jefferson. The No. 7 Jaguars defended their home turf Monday with a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Kiski Area.
The Mustangs defeated TJ by scores of 4-1 and 1-0 this season en route to their second straight section title.
“Thomas Jefferson is very well-coached with a lot of talent,” Stewart said. “They played us well here and then played us better at their place. We’ll have to be at our best, no doubt.”
The shutout was Plum’s 10th of the season, and the Mustangs defense didn’t allow Gateway a shot until midway through the second half.
Plum finished with 18 shots on Gators senior goalkeeper Ava Weiss.
Gateway, the fourth-place team from Section 1, capped its season at 7-9. The Gators will return all but four seniors next season.
“Plum is a very talented team with depth in every area,” Gateway coach Kelly Bender said. “Plum is a fast team, and it caught us off guard. They are dynamic up top.”
Plum’s early offensive pressure led to four shots in the first 10 minutes. But all four were just high or wide by a couple of feet.
The Mustangs continued to keep the majority of the play in Gateway’s end. They generated a couple of shots that had to be turned away by Weiss, including a point-blank attempt from 10 yards by freshman Ava Weleski.
“Ava played incredible,” Bender said of her goalkeeper. “The score could’ve been a lot more without some of her saves.”
Plum broke through in the 14th minute as senior forward Gina Proviano scored on an assist from sophomore Kaitlyn Killinger. It was Proviano’s team-leading 16th goal of the season.
The Mustangs doubled their lead less than three minutes later as Proviano converted again, this one on an assist from junior Marissa Liberto.
Plum sophomore Annabel Arhin made it 3-0 with just under six minutes left in the first half as she took a pass from Killinger and beat Weiss.
Waleski, Killinger and sophomore Camryn Rogers added goals in the second half. Sophomores Cameron Collins and Kemyll Walker assisted on two of the scores.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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