H.S. GIRLS SOCCER: Southern Columbia advances to District 4 final
HEPBURNVILLE - After struggling to score for most of the game in their District 4 A quarterfinal game against East Juniata, Southern Columbia wanted to get off to a quick start in Tuesday's semifinal against Troy at the Balls Mills soccer complex.
That they did.
Aly Stavinski and Haley Levan scored goals within 46 seconds of each other in the first 10 minutes, and the Tigers added a big insurance goal before the first half was over to coast to a 3-0 win, sending Southern (18-1-1) to its first district championship game since 2002.
Southern will play Millville, which beat South Williamsport in the other semifinal, Thursday at 5 p.m. at Balls Mills.
Bailey Bzdak assisted on each of the first two goals and scored the third one, and the Tigers were never in any serious trouble against the outmanned Trojans.
"We're not really a team that comes out and scores right away, so it was nice to come out and get a couple of goals and relax a little," said Bzdak, who said she likes to get assists as much as scoring goals herself.
"I like to get assists because it's means you're playing harder as a team," she said.
Still, the third goal, which Bzdak scored unassisted off a rebound with 2:15 remaining
in the half, may have been the biggest.
"It's always nice to have a two-goal lead, but if the other team scores, you're in a one-goal game again," Bzdak said. "With a three-goal lead you don't have to worry as much."
For the second straight game, the Tigers ran into a hot goalkeeper. Troy's Taylor Johnston had 22 saves and Southern had 32 shots to just one for the Trojans (16-5).
"She was very good in the air," said Southern head coach Derek Stine. "She was tall and anything we shot high she was stopping."
But Stine also felt the Tigers' shot selection wasn't particularly good, especially in the second half.
"We had a lot of shots but were they good shots?", he asked. "I thought we got a little flat after we got the three-goal lead."
Bzdak said there will be a comfort level of sorts playing against Millville, whom they have a 5-1 win over this season.
"It feels really good to get to the championship game," Bzdak said. "We've always lost to Loyalsock the past few years and all year we've pointed to this."
Troy (16-5) 0 0 - 0
Southern (18-1-1) 3 0 - 3