South Williamsport’s girls soccer team had been playing around with a different formation this past week. The Mounties had practiced and had a plan for what they wanted to do and how to distribute the ball.
To say that plan and formation worked would be a huge understatement. South Williamsport came out strong and had four players record goals in a 7-0 win against Juniata Christian at Loyalsock in the District 4 Class A quarterfinals. The win advances the Mounties to the semifinals at a time and place to be determined.
“We came in with a plan of we had a different formation, so we were working all week how we wanted to distribute the ball, where we wanted our forwards to run and we executed that greatly today,” South Williamsport’s Aleigha Rieppel said. “I was really proud of everyone.”
South Williamsport (15-4) scored two goals in the first three minutes of the game and set the tone early. Ella Moore and McKaye Wilton came up with those first two goals as Rieppel assisted on them. And the two assists were huge for Rieppel in that it put her at 60 for her career.
And assisting on her two best friends’ goals made it a tad sweeter for her.
“It’s great. I just wanted to win, I do what I can for everyone and it just comes. The forwards score, I don’t get the assist if they don’t score, so it’s really them,” Rieppel said. “Ever since freshman year I knew I wasn’t a scorer, so I want to help any way I can. I have good vision on the field, so I just try to take advantage of that and direct where everyone goals and put goals there for them.”
Moore ended the day with a hat trick for the Mounties as South Williamsport possessed the entire game, rarely letting Juniata Christian get any sort of offense going until late with the game well decided.
“McKaye is a poacher. She’s very fast and she finds ways to score goals. Ella is a much more polished type of player,” Lovecchio said. “I thought Ella played an amazing game today. We moved her up to a center forward position. She touched the ball a lot. She’s very dangerous and she distributes real well too.”
South Williamsport held a 12-2 shots on goal advantage over Juniata Christian and in total, fired 19 shots. In the first half, South Williamsport peppered Juniata Christian’s goal. The Mounties fired 11 first-half shots, all but two coming from inside the 18.
“It’s huge. No matter what playoff game you’re playing, everyone’s a little nervous,” South Williamsport coach Marc Lovecchio said. “We have a lot of girls out here and have a set of girls who have experience from last year. We still have five or six girls who didn’t see any time last year, so they were nervous too.”
After Moore and Wilton put South ahead 2-0 quickly into the game, Piper Minier scored when she drilled a shot from outside the 18 to the far right post with 33:16 to play in the first half. Less than two minutes later, it was Julia Yeagle who put in a goal to build up a 4-0 lead.
The Mounties took a 6-0 lead into the half as both Wilton and Moore scored the final two goals, respectively, within a 60-second span.
“We spread the ball very well. We pass the ball very well. We actually pass it in seams when we needed to. We passed to the feet when we needed to,” Lovecchio said. “I mean getting up those what, four goals in first 10 minutes or something? That was huge, it got rid of the nerves and everybody calmed down. I thought we played well.”
South Williamsport 7, Juniata Christian 0
SW-Ella Moore (Aleigha Rieppel), 35:10. SW-McKaye Wilton (Rieppel), 32:21. SW-Piper Minier, 33:16. SW-Julia Yeagle, 31:31. SW-Wilton, 27:23. SW-Moore, 26:20. SW-Moore, 28:10.
Shots: JC 2, SW 12. Corners: JC 1, SW 2. Saves: JC 4 (Abby Warner), SW 2 (Althea Street).
Records: South Williamsport (15-4).