Riverview girls advance to PIAA Class A quarterfinals, rematch with Springdale
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 | 10:13 PM
DAVIDSVILLE — Lola Abraham was struck in the face by a kicked ball four minutes into the second half of a PIAA Class A first-round game Tuesday at District 5 champion Conemaugh Township.
It took several minutes for her to clear the cobwebs.
“It caught her off guard,” Raiders coach Sean Abraham said.
“Because it hit her nose and face, it made her eyes water, and she was having a vision thing because her eyes were watering. She was trying to work the tears out, but she was fine.
After Abraham regained her bearings, she made the homestanding Indians develop tears of their own.
She tallied a hat trick in the second half as WPIAL runner-up Riverview answered a stiff challenge and came away with a 5-3 victory.
The Raiders improved to 20-3 on the season and advance to the state quarterfinals and a date with a familiar foe. Riverview and Springdale — a 4-0 winner over District 10 champion Seneca on Tuesday — will clash for the third time this season Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
“We welcome anything,” coach Abraham said.
“We’re just happy we’re playing right now. From where we were at three years ago to now, this is all bonus for us. The girls are making history. It is the first time in history for a lot of things for these girls. They are enjoying playing.”
Abraham’s three goals give her 71 for the season. Riverview finished the game with a 8-3 advantage in shots on goal and 18-8 in overall shots.
Riverview also got first-half scores from freshman Hannah Hudack and junior Lyla Flanick in the back-and-forth battle.
Conemaugh Township lost for just the second time in 21 games.
“We had an awesome season,” Indians coach Scott Thomas said.
“We had a lot of fun. We had a great team, and we’re going to bring back a great team next year. This team we just played (Riverview) is very talented. They brought a full team with them for sure.”
Two minutes after being struck in the face, Abraham did some striking of her own. She gained control of the ball from about 30 yards, dribbled between two defenders, and ripped a shot into the left side of the CT goal to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead.
Not too long after, the Indians tied the score on the 40th goal of the season from junior Ashlyn Fetterman. Riverview senior keeper Chiara Brun made an initial save on Fetterman’s shot from 15 yards, but the ball had enough spin and force to find its way into the net.
The game winner from Abraham was a penalty kick with 9:06 left after a CT player was whistled for a hand ball in the box.
She finished off the hat trick and all but iced the game with 3:51 on the clock.
“After halftime, they stole the show,” Thomas said.
“(Abraham) is just an incredible player. I give her props, for sure. All you can do is keep battling, and we battled right to the end.”
Riverview collected its first shot in the eighth minute as Abraham’s boot from 15 yards sailed a couple of feet high of the crossbar.
She rang one off the crossbar one minute later.
The Raiders got on the board in the 10th minute as Flanick tallied her first of the season.
Hudack made it 2-0 with 15:16 left until halftime with a shot from 12 yards that deflected off an Indians defender and redirected past CT keeper Jordyn Snyder.
Indians junior Izzy Slezak and Fetterman, who came into the game with a combined 88 goals in 20 games, were somewhat stymied early, but they came alive in the final six minutes.
Slezak got the Indians on the board with 5:18 left until halftime off an assist from Fetterman. Brun came out to make a play on the ball. Slezak gained control and scored into an open net from eight yards.
It was Slezak’s 50th of the season and CT’s first shot on goal of the game.
Riverview thought it had taken a 3-1 lead at the 2:50 mark off a corner kick, but a Raiders player was whistled for a foul — pushing the Indians goalkeeper — and the goal was waved off.
CT then tied the score with just 47 seconds left until the break as Fetterman again found Slezak for a goal.
“We had some defensive mental errors, but you’ll have that,” coach Abraham said.
“We fix that and make adjustments. We also made some adjustments today with the lineup. We just tried to play the game we know how to play, stick to our guns, and make adjustments as we see fit. We were kind of doing it on the fly throughout the game.
“They are a great team. You have to be good to win the district. I applaud them. They found a way to answer and come back.
“Overall, we have some things we have to fix before Saturday, but we’ll be good.”
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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