Springdale girls soccer blanks Waynesburg to achieve WPIAL championship game goal

Monday, October 31, 2022 | 9:31 PM

Last year, the Springdale girls soccer team was denied a trip to Highmark Stadium to play for a WPIAL championship with a loss to Steel Valley in the semifinals.

There was no denying the Dynamos on Monday in a WPIAL Class A semifinal against No. 6 Waynesburg at Peters Township’s Confluence Financial Partners Stadium.

Grace Gent had three goals as Springdale rolled to a 5-0 victory.

The Dynamos will take on No. 1 Freedom for the title Friday at Highmark Stadium at a time to be determined. The Bulldogs outlasted Greensburg Central Catholic, 4-3, in two overtimes Monday.

“Our main goal was to get to Highmark, so we worked hard all season to make it a reality,” Springdale senior midfielder Mikayla Dileo said. “We really played well tonight. We made good connections the whole time we had possession. We moved for each other and were clinical in front of the net. I think we just wanted it more.”

Springdale returns to the WPIAL title game for the first time since 2009 when it won the Class 2A title in the final year of just two classifications. The Dynamos own two championships, also claiming the Class 2A crown in 1997.

“The girls came in ready to work right from the start in the preseason, and it’s been our mission to get to Highmark,” Springdale coach Marc Bentley said. “It was an unbelievable performance by the girls. We controlled the game. I am really proud of them.”

Waynesburg (16-4) faced adversity in the 12th minute as star forward Ashlyn Basinger, a Maryland commit with more than 50 goals on the season, exited the game with a knee injury. She limped off the field under her own power but did not return.

“From what I could see from the sideline, it looked like she got kicked in the knee,” Waynesburg coach Greg Basinger said. “That is what she told me. You could hear it. They said nobody touched her. But, hey, that’s soccer.

“You just have to adjust quickly. Our offense runs through her, and when you take her out of the game, it’s going to make an obvious impact. But the girls kept their heads up, and they battled. That’s all you can ask for.”

Basinger will have her knee evaluated further Tuesday.

Despite the loss, Waynesburg’s season is not over. It will be back in action Wednesday against GCC in the third-place game with a trip to states on the line.

Without Basinger in the lineup, the Raiders struggled to generate offense.

Waynesburg finished with no shots on goal, but the Raiders got a good chance three and a half minutes into the second half as freshman Ella Miller took a shot from the left wing that skipped just a foot wide of the right goal post and went out of play.

Springdale took 15 shots, and 11 made it on goal. Waynesburg freshman keeper Peyton Cowell recorded six saves.

Springdale got on the board first in the ninth minute.

Sophomore Molly Hurley took control of the ball on a pass from senior Grace Gent and moved in on a breakaway with three Raiders defenders in pursuit. She pulled up at about 22 yards and released a shot that beat Cowell to her right.

“It was a great feed through, and Molly struck it across the keeper,” Bentley said. “It was a great finish. Scoring another a goal like that settled us and let us grow into the game. There were a couple of girls who were a little bit nervous playing in their first semifinal. At halftime, I told them to keep their foot on the gas and keep going. They did exactly that.”

Without their leading scorer, the Raiders still tried to push the offense but were not able to crack the Dynamos defense.

Springdale brought possession back to their advantage and moved into Raiders territory near the midway point of the first half.

Dynamos’ sophomore Briana Ross took a corner kick that was blocked back to her. She settled the ball, made a move around a Waynesburg defender, took a shot that sailed in front of the goal and was headed in by Gent with 21:48 left until halftime.

Springdale extended its lead to 3-0 with 11:45 on the first-half clock as sophomore Carissa Walsh scored off an assist from Ross.

The Dynamos added on with 33 minutes left in regulation as they got the ball deep in Waynesburg territory in front of the net, and Gent finished amidst Cowell and a couple of Raiders defenders.

Springdale made it 5-0 with 23:31 left as Gent finished the scoring for the Dynamos.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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