Lady Bison blank Bradford for D-9 AA crown|
Thursday, November 01, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
DUBOIS - Tessa Munshower and Shannon Reinke each scored a goal and Kelsey Greenland stopped all three shots she saw to lead the Clearfield girls soccer team to a 2-0 win over Bradford Wednesday at a wet and rainy DuBois Area High School Field in the District 9 Class AA Championship.
It was a rematch of last year's title game, which the Lady Bison won, 5-0. Clearfield also topped the Lady Owls, 7-0, on Oct. 15.
"This was one step in our quest in the 2012 season," Clearfield co-head coach Tom Mohney said. "We wanted to win a district title for the second year in a row, and obviously make it to states.
"But it was a challenging game. Bradford came with their ‘A' game. It was certainly different than the last game, which we dominated. I have to give them credit because they really played hard."
Munshower put Clearfield on the board late in the first half when she finished a McKenna Aleksivich corner kick at 34:10.
Munshower, who scored twice on corners in the regular-season victory two weeks ago, looked as if she was shot out of a rocket and she dashed into the goal box, lifted her leg high in the air and booted the ball home with the bottom of her foot while sliding into the back of the net herself.
"It's a great momentum-builder to get that first goal," Mohney said. "And McKenna and Tessa have been lethal on corners. McKenna always comes through with a beautifully-played ball, and Tessa does what she needs to do.
"But there is a lot of practice that goes into that. We practice a lot with the corner kicks, and it paid off. And it has all season."
The Lady Bison took just the 1-0 lead into the half as both sides battled a slick field and chilly, rainy conditions that made connecting passes tough and first touches tricky
"The conditions weren't favorable for either side," Mohney said. "But we're fortunate to even play tonight when you look at what happened on the East Coast. We were just fortunate to come here and play a game of soccer."
Clearfield also struggled getting the ball up top to forwards Reinke and Taylor Dixon, who were blanketed by Bradford defenders.
But that changed a bit in the second half as the Lady Bison began attacking on the wings, which eventually opened up the middle and led to Clearfield's second score.
"I don't think we hit our rhythm until the second half," Mohney said. "We started to use our outside a little bit more. The middle was crowded. It seemed like they had seven or eight people in the middle. We started using Raquel (Grice) and Emily (Ryan) and Brianna (Spencer).
"Once we started using our flanks a little bit more, we started executing and dominating. We got a couple crosses and some shots on goal."
Munshower started the Clearfield scoring play by sending a ball into the box from the right just outside the 18.
Spencer charged into the box, corralled the ball, turned and fired a shot that Bradford keeper Payton Llewellyn knocked down but couldn't control.
Reinke raced in to the box and blasted the loose ball into the net at 62:23.
"I think we pressured a little bit better in the second half," Mohney said. "Everyone went for the ball. Spencer turned around and smacked it, and Shannon cleaned it up. It was a good goal."
Meanwhile the Lady Bison defense kept Bradford's attack to a minimum.
The Lady Owls got three shots off against Greenland and the Clearfield defense, which registered the 13th shutout in a row for the Lady Bison.
"They had some nice runs, but I don't know if they had a quality shot," Mohney said. "I don't think they put anything hard on frame enough to test Kelsey."
And that was a testament to defenders Katie Powers, Lauren Conrad and Kara Thorp and holding mid Sabrina Schwartz, who never allowed a Lady Owl to get loose in the attacking third.
"We've probably set the record for the most shutouts in one season," Mohney said. "After giving up a goal to Brookville, we haven't been scored upon. We have some speed in the back to recover or anticipate something coming through.
"They step to the ball well, and they recover well. They've been solid all season."
With the win, Clearfield moves into the PIAA Tournament. The Lady Bison play Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. They will face the winner of the WPIAL title game Saturday between Moon and defending state champion Mars.
"We're very happy, very pleased," Mohney said. "But we definitely have some work to do before Tuesday.
"You don't come out of the WPIAL and not be a quality club. But we have to beat them to get to the next level. We'll play. We'll give 110 percent. I'm not worried about our effort at all."
Clearfield 2, Bradford 0
1. Tessa Munshower, (McKenna Aleksivich), 34:10.
2. Shannon Reinke, (Brianna Spencer, Munshower), 62:23.
Shots: Bradford 3, Clearfield 10.
Saves: Bradford (Payton Llewellyn) 8, Clearfield (Kelsey Greenland) 3.
Corner kicks: Bradford 4, Clearfield 7.