The fate of the Salisbury girls’ soccer team, at least regarding its Colonial League playoff hopes, rested on the final game of the regular season. A win against rival Southern Lehigh on senior night could have punched the Lady Falcons’ ticket to the league tournament.
A loss, however, would be heartbreaking as Southern Lehigh would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Lady Falcons felt just how heartbreaking it was to be so close to one of its goals and come up short.
Coming after arguably its best performance of the season, Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco and his coaching staff will likely address the possibility of an upset when the Falcons host Northern Lehigh on Friday night.
Northern Lehigh (0-7) is the only remaining winless team in the Colonial League through seven weeks. Pen Argyl defeated the Bulldogs two weeks ago in a battle of winless teams, and last week’s 54-6 romp against Saucon Valley has Northern Lehigh in the cellar of the league standings.
One of the more underrated aspects of Salisbury’s football team may be the ability of players to shift around when necessary for the betterment of the team. When a couple of players moved around prior to Saturday’s game against Pen Argyl, head coach Andy Cerco wasn’t surprised at the success his team endured.
Salisbury (3-4) erupted for over 400 yards of offense on the ground en route to a 48-14 victory over the Green Knights (1-6) at Pen Argyl High School. The win, which featured a number of players at new positions, ended the Falcons’ four-game losing skid.
University of Connecticut red-shirt freshman wide receiver Mason Donaldson saw the field on select special teams plays for the Huskies’ football team through their first two games this season. But heading into a late-September game against East Carolina University, the Salisbury High School graduate was in store for a bigger role offensively.
And when UConn’s top wide receiver, Hergy Mayala, left that game after just three plays, Donaldson was due for an even large role unexpectedly. He rose to the occasion and ran with his chance on the Division I stage.
With only a little more than a week of soccer left in the regular season, the goal is for teams to be playing their best as the postseason nears. And while Salisbury head coach Rick Babyak sees room for improvement, it’s hard for him to complain when his squad picks up another victory, remains near the top of the Colonial League standings, and has recently qualified for the district tournament.
Salisbury’s Vivian Rogers had little trouble advancing to the championship match at No. 2 singles of the Colonial League Tournament last week. But standing in the senior’s way was an opponent she had little success against in the regular season.
It turns out that didn’t matter one bit to Rogers. In an eight-game pro set match, the second-seeded Rogers defeated No. 1 seed Michelle Li of Southern Lehigh (8-3). It was Rogers’ first win in three matches against Li, and it couldn’t have come at a more rewarding time.
When Salisbury graduated its top three goal scorers from last year and saw 72 goals leave along with them, head coach Mark Allinson expected some struggles in the scoring department this season. But maybe not as much as the Falcons have experienced thus far.
Northwestern shut out Salisbury on its home field last week with a 3-0 victory, a game in which the Falcons generated just two shots on goal.
There’s no arguing that Salisbury had its chances to win Friday night’s game against Bangor. If not for a couple of failed conversions in the red zone, the outcome could have been different.
However, Falcon head coach Andy Cerco understands the likelihood of winning with those circumstances isn’t in Salisbury’s favor. And that’s exactly what happened.
Coming off its district runner-up season last fall, the Salisbury girls soccer team has turned the page to open this season just as impressively as the last one ended.
In the midst of the competitive District Class 2A ranks, the Lady Falcons (7-3) currently sit in third place after an 8-0 route of Catasauqua on Monday evening. That win marked Salisbury’s third Colonial League victory in a row after a tough 1-0 loss to Palisades last week.
When Salisbury and Notre Dame (Green Pond) met in a mid-season matchup last season, no one gave the Falcons any chance against the heavily favored Crusaders. But head coach Andy Cerco and the Falcons were optimistic.
While Salisbury eventually did come up short of pulling off the upset, it showed that the Falcons were capable of winning on any given night. Many of this season’s players were part of that team and are eager for another shot at the Crusaders as the Falcons (2-2) travel to Green Pond on Friday night.