Title implications heighten Burrell-Deer Lakes girls soccer clash

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | 7:14 PM

It’s been three weeks and two days since the first meeting between the Burrell and Deer Lakes girls soccer teams.

The Bucs posted a 5-1 win on their home turf Sept. 9, and they haven’t lost since, scoring 40 goals over a seven-game stretch and surrendering four.

The Lancers, likewise, haven’t tasted defeat since that Section 2-AA clash, posting a 6-0-1 mark that included a 2-1 win last week over section stalwart Freeport on a late free-kick goal from Abigail Boulos.

Burrell and Deer Lakes will battle again Wednesday evening at 7 at Lancers Stadium with major section-title implications on the line.

“The excitement these girls have is for what they’ve done the whole season, but I would be lying to you if I said we hadn’t been talking about this game, as I’m sure Deer Lakes has been talking about it, too,” said Burrell coach Frank Nesko, whose team is 11-0 overall, at the top of the section at 7-0 and No. 2 in the latest Trib Class AA rankings.

“That speaks to the respect we have for them. They are a very good team, and we will be very much tested tomorrow. Both teams know how much is on the line.”

Deer Lakes is the defending section champion, and it rode to the title last year with the help of a win and a tie over Burrell.

“There is a lot of excitement, and we know Deer Lakes is going to bring its ‘A’ game because they want to win the section title again,” Bucs defender Danika Stone said. “We have to play as hard as we have all season.”

The teams expect a vibrant and spirited crowd on hand.

“There is a buzz in the school for these girls, and I’m sure it’s that way for their team,” Nesko said.

Deer Lakes coach Frank Accetta said his team, 9-1-1 overall and 7-1 in the section, continued preparation Tuesday with film session and work on the field.

“We didn’t play a bad game (against Burrell) the first time, but they brought some things to the table we weren’t expecting,” Accetta said. “Burrell is an accomplished team, and they are on a roll right now. We’re going to put together a gameplan, and we’ll see what happens. We’re glad to have this game on our home field.”

The Bucs and Lancers are the only teams in Class AA to have clinched WPIAL playoff berths. Freeport will be watching with heightened interest as it sits in third place in the section at 6-2. The Yellowjackets return to section action Saturday at Valley and host East Allegheny on Monday before a rematch with Burrell on Oct. 9.

Deer Lakes wrapped up a spot in the postseason with Monday’s 5-0 win over East Allegheny. Madeline Boulos registered a hat trick to lead the way, and she has a team-best 22 goals. Bri Maxwell and Katie Edinger each added a goal, and Abigail Boulos provided two assists.

“We’re not a team that has blown out teams, but when we’ve needed to put teams away, we’ve done it and have found ways win a lot of games,” Accetta said. “But Burrell was a different story. To keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to have to be even better (Wednesday).”

Burrell also came up big Monday with a 2-0 nonsection win over a Greensburg Central Catholic team ranked No. 1 in Class A. Allie Vescio scored both goals, bringing her team-best total to 18. Jordyn Kowalkowski and Kaitlyn Postupack assisted, and Delaney O’Brien posted five saves for the shutout.

“(GCC) was a quality opponent, and we went after it,” Nesko said. “We were tested, and I’m glad we had that opportunity. (GCC) is skilled and aggressive. The girls came through with a nice win.”

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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