The Monday night lights lit up the sky at Franklin Regional High School soccer field as Avonworth and Derry High School got ready to face off on October 24, 2016. The girl’s soccer team, who ranks eighth in the region, had their first playoff game against Derry, who holds the ninth seed, was a nearly even match.
Derry’s offense attempted several advances towards goal, but were shut down by Avonworth’s back line consisting of, Senior Jackie Restelli, Freshman Abby Wert, Sophomore Jessica Lamperski, and Freshman Lauren Pflueger.
Sophomore defender, Abby Wert, heads the ball away from Derry’s offence.
In return, Avonworth’s forwards including senior Emily Paszkiewicz, and junior Devyn Hundermark, had countless shots, crosses and passes that tested Derry’s senior goalie and defense, but to no avail. At the end of the two forty minute halves, the game was scoreless. The game went into double overtime, and when no goals were scored, eventually lead to an intense shootout.
Senior, Emily Paszkeiwicz, takes a shot on Derry’s goal.
Each coach sent out five of their players to shoot from the penalty line, roughly twelve yards away from the opposite team’s waiting goalies, in order to decide a winner. The shots were taken alternately between Derry and Avonworth. One of Derry’s players was able to get the ball passed Avonworth goalie, Hannah Milbert, after the first two players missed the goal by a longshot. The first three girls from Avonworth, Wert, Paszkiewicz, and Sophomore Chloe Cropper, placed all of their balls into the back right corner of the net, making it three to one, leaving each team with only two shots to spare.
Derry’s goalie stops a shot from earlier in the night
Derry’s fourth girl stepped up to the line, both teams knowing that if she missed or if the goalie saved her shot, the game was over and Avonworth would win. Derry’s many fans were waiting silently in the stands, the most quiet they had been the entire game, while Avonworth’s fans returned the lovely favor of yelling, screaming, and chanting at the top of their lungs. She took the shot, and everyone stared, wide eyed, as the ball sailed at first towards the goal, then up and through the field goal posts.
Avonworth’s entire team swarmed the field, running out towards Hannah, and jumping one on another, cheering and celebrating with all of their energy restored, even after nearly two hours of playing. The win against Derry will send them on to round two of the playoffs, against the number one team in the WPIAL, and number one team in the state: Freedom.
The Avonworth girls soccer players surround goalie, Hannah Milbert, in cheers of excitement of winning their game.
Come to Mars High School on Thursday, October 27, to cheer on the girls – kickoff is at 6:00pm.