Late goal dooms Shamokin girls' soccer team
COAL TOWNSHIP - They say whatever doesn't kill you just makes you stronger, and if that's truly the case, then Shamokin's hard-luck girls soccer team should be pretty tough the next few years.
Injuries and a lack of depth to start with have cut the Indians down to basically 11 or 12 players, and Tuesday afternoon against Jersey Shore, they suffered a couple more injuries. The girls who got shaken up took some time to regroup, then came back on the field, or the Indians would have been forced to play with just 10 players, which they did in the second half last week against Warrior Run.
Then, to top off the pain, Jersey Shore's Rebecca Schweikart scored the only goal of the game, with 27.1 seconds left, to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 win over the Indians. The loss dropped Shamokin to 5-8 overall and pretty much put a dagger in any postseason hopes they had.
"We had three players with serious injuries today who went back in and played," Shamokin head coach Matt Witmer said. "We just had one girl come back to the team today or we would have had to play with 10 again. She (pointing to senior captain Megan Dimmick) just tore her ACL. It's been an awful one of those seasons but we're young and we're really gelling and coming close as a team. And the girls have played hard all season."
One who came back was freshman Alicia Kapushinski, who was kicked hard in the shin late in the first half but eventually came back to play with about 20 minutes remaining.
That wasn't lost on Jersey Shore coach Tyler Breech, whose team is built much like the Indians and is now 4-10.
"It's good for us to get a win, especially over a team like that, which has a lot of heart," Breech said. "I looked at their roster, with all their freshmen and sophomores. They're going to be a very good squad."
Indeed, senior captian Kylie Christiana is the only senior on the Indians' team. But a big impetus now will be to get more players out, in order to have varsity depth and perhaps a JV team as well.
The Indians had an 8-5 advantage in shots but never really had a close-range attempt. Neither did Jersey Shore, at least not until Schweikart got just the right bounce, about 15 feet out from the goal on the right side, at just the right time, to score the game winner.
"We just kept pounding away and pounding away," said Breech. "We knew we'd make one sooner or later but it was just a matter of if it would be before overtime."
Shamokin returns to action Thursday, playing at Loyalsock.
Jersey Shore (4-10) 0 1 - 1
Shamokin (5-8) 0 0 - 0