Girls soccer starts 2-0
Unlike in the season-opening 5-0 victory last Friday at Notre Dame (East Stroudsburg), the Salisbury girls soccer team was forced to play from behind as it was down 1-0 at halftime.
The Falcons (2-0 overall) responded by scoring three unanswered goals in the second half to take down Minersville 3-1 last Saturday afternoon in a nonconference game at Salisbury High School.
“We could’ve folded right there when things didn’t go our way at first,” said Salisbury head coach Rick Babyak. “But credit to them for keeping their heads up. This was a good team (Minersville), so the fact that we stayed focused and did what we needed to do was great. I was most impressed with how we kept building momentum instead of folding.”
After Madolyn Purcell tallied the game’s opening goal for the Miners on a shot from just inside the 18-yard box, Minersville held all of the momentum and control of the game. Its defense played physical and won a majority of the balls played to its defensive third.
But after 40 minutes of being shutout, Salisbury broke free and began to find the back of the net after halftime.
Sophomore forward Quinn Whitman was able to make runs along the sideline and caused havoc on the Minersville defense. She was rewarded for her efforts by scoring back-to-back goals, the first of which tied the game just 2:30 into the second half. Her game-winner came with 11:30 remaining. Senior Molly Foust added some insurance with a goal of her own with 3:50 left.
Foust, Kerry Seiler and Chase Watto each contributed an assist for the Falcons.
Senior goalie Lily Schimeneck finished with eight saves, six of which came in the second half.
“Lilly made some great saves today and was really focused,” Babyak said. “She was getting bumped around a little bit in the box because of how physical the game was, but she was on the ball. She handled it really well. And that’s where it starts. If you have a solid goalie at the back end of the field that can work it up, that’s what you want.”
On a hot day, playing the game under the afternoon sun, Babyak was impressed with the way his team was able to battle back and come away with an impressive win against a quality opponent.
“I can’t say enough about the character of these girls,” said Babyak. “Our numbers are low this year so we don’t have a lot of depth. But there is a lot of quality on this team so that’s nice to see. I’m very proud of them. They came back from adversity and that’s all you can ask for.”
Salisbury begins play against Colonial League opponents this week with games at Northwestern (Tuesday) and at home against Pen Argyl (Saturday).