Westmoreland high school girls soccer notebook: Franklin Regional hangs hat on defense

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 | 4:24 PM

Junior goalkeeper Aris Lamanna and a tight-laced defense are not giving up the combination to the vault any time soon at Franklin Regional.

You might say the unit has a “zero tolerance” policy on the pitch.

Any success the playoff-bound Panthers (9-4-2) have had in recent years — this one included — can be attributed to defense and possession soccer.

“We don’t mind defending,” coach Scott Arnold said. The team’s backline unit has registered 31 shutouts in its last last 65 games.

The Panthers have allowed eight goals this year in 14 games.

Key defenders have been seniors Riley Phillips and Mauriana Dorsch. Sophomores Eden Williams, Brooke Blakely, Abby Paterline and Reese Phillips also have been stoppers.

Latrobe turned the tide on Monday with a 2-0 shutout win, which marked just the second time in three seasons Franklin Regional has lost by more than one goal.

“When we score one goal, we haven’t lost,” Arnold said. “That is a pretty crazy stat.”

Lamanna has been sensational, making highlight saves to the tune of a sub-1.0 goals-against average and nine shutouts. Arnold said she is getting Division I college looks.

“She is very flexible and long, and she can stretch out to make saves,” Latrobe defender Regan Reilly said. “(Franklin Regional) is very compact in the back.”

Playoffs approaching

The top four teams in each section qualify for the WPIAL playoffs, which are set to begin next weekend.

Three points are awarded for each win, and teams get one point for a tie.

Westmoreland teams that have clinched playoff berths so far are: Latrobe (8-2-2), Franklin Regional (9-4-2) and Penn-Trafford (7-4-4) in Class 3A; Mt. Pleasant (13-0), Southmoreland (9-2-1), Yough (7-6-1) and Burrell (9-2-3) in 2A; and Greensburg Central Catholic (8-3) in A.

Reader on a tear

Belle Vernon senior Farrah Reader has been on a scoring binge as the Leopards try to make a final push for a playoff spot.

Reader had a career-high six goals in a 10-2 victory over Uniontown, a game after four goals in the Leopards’ 8-0 win over Albert Gallatin.

Her career total stands at 94 with three games left in the regular season.

Only four girls have scored 100 or more goals in Belle Vernon history. They are: Cori Stark (124), Michelle Sillence (103), Hayden Pascoe (102) and Jillian Butchki (101).


When it comes to nonsection competition, Greensburg Central Catholic has a rather light schedule. The Lady Centurions (8-3) played in the season-opening Red Raider Classic at Bellefonte and went 1-1 with a 3-2 win over Wallenpaupack and a 3-0 loss to Hollidaysburg.

But it has been all Section 1-A games since.

With the playoffs about a week away, GCC added a heavyweight that brings some serious heft. It will play at Mars 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mars, the three-time defending champion in Class 3A, has not lost in 72 games.

“I don’t think (a lack of nonsection games) will hurt us,” GCC first-year coach Kara Batey said. “Games against teams like Springdale have helped prepare us for a playoff atmosphere.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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