New Castle News

October 25, 2012

WPIAL Soccer Playoffs: Mohawk girls win in shootout

Joe Sager
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The postseason journey continues for the Mohawk High girls soccer team.

And, it’ll stretch into November.

Last night, the Lady Warriors assured themselves of at least two more playoff matches with a 1-0 win over Seton-La Salle in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal match at West Allegheny High School’s Joe P. DeMichela Stadium.

Both teams remained scoreless through regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods. Mohawk secured the win with a 3-2 win in a penalty kick shootout.

“It’s amazing. We worked all year. It was a hard-fought game. We just played our hearts out,” said Doreen Clark, who had the deciding Mohawk goal in the shootout. “Our coach said we were the underdogs and, being underdogs, there’s no pressure for us. But, we want to make it as far as we could, so we just played our hearts out. We want to keep on going.”

The Lady Warriors (10-8-1) meet WPIAL powerhouse Sewickley Academy, a 2-1 winner over Avonworth, on Tuesday at a time and site to be determined in a semifinal showdown. The winner advances to the WPIAL title match, while the losing squad plays in a WPIAL consolation contest. Both of those matches are scheduled for Nov. 3. The WPIAL champ, runner-up and consolation winner advance to the PIAA playoffs.

Sewickley Academy, which is 19-0-1, beat Mohawk in the season opener, 4-1, on the Lady Warriors’ home field.

“It was a tough win. They fought. I didn’t really expect to be in this much of a battle, but we were,” Mohawk coach Mike Shornack said. “It’s been a good team effort, even from the girls on the bench. I am so proud of these girls. No matter what happens from here, I can’t be more proud of them. I’d love to go to the state playoffs.”

Mohawk managed just two shots on goal throughout the 110 minutes of regulation and overtime play. The Lady Rebels (8-11) had 10, but freshman goalkeeper Aliya Gage turned those aside and the Lady Warriors’ defense did not surrender many good scoring chances.

“We don’t worry about (Gage). She’s the last person we worry about,” Shornack said. “Overall, our defense is pretty good. Corey Mitchell, Doreen Clark, Melissa Verlotte and Ayla Chapman — when they play, we can be in the game with anybody.”

Seton-La Salle led off the shootout with a shot over the goal. Freshman Mikala Mangino buried her shot to give Mohawk a 1-0 lead. The Lady Rebels converted their next two penalty kicks and a Lady Warriors miss gave Seton-La Salle a 2-1 edge.

Mohawk’s Amber Daugherty buried her attempt to tie it at 2-all and Gage stopped Kristine Nutter’s shot. That set up Clark, who lofted a high shot into the top left corner to give the Lady Warriors a 3-2 edge.

“It was very nerve wracking, but once you get up there and calm down, it’s not bad,” Clark said. “I was trying to aim for the post and keep it low, but I’ll take a high one.”

Gage was thrilled to see the Lady Warriors take the lead.

“Oh, I was ecstatic to see anybody put theirs in,” she said. “After that, I was just worried about stopping the next ball.

She did just that on Theresa Brust’s attempt, which sealed the victory.

“Thinking about (the shootout), I was a little bit nervous. Once you get on the field, the nerves kind of go away,” Gage said. “I was just thinking about how we practice, where the plant foot was and just wanting to stop the ball.

“It’s amazing. It’s so cool,” she continued. “I love playing for our seniors and the team and our coaches.”