BROCKWAY – The Ridgway Lady Elker girls soccer team lost 2-0 to the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojanettes Tuesday evening at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
“I thought we were right with them the first 15 minutes. I thought, “Man, we’re evenly matched.’ Once they scored, it was like ‘Boom.’ Momentum just switched,” Ridgway coach Greg Maddalena said. “They’re a very good team but I thought we really stayed with them, I really did.”
After a fairly even opening 15 minutes of the game, the Trojanettes began to put more pressure on Ridgway’s side of the field. Freshman winger Tori Michalski made a run down the right side of the field and put a crossing ball into the Lady Elker penalty area. The ball took a deflection which put the Ridgway defense out of position. Senior Ella Beidler then volleyed the ball into the back of what would become an open net for a 1-0 lead.
The second goal came with 11 minutes to play in the opening half on a similar play. Once again, Michalski made a run down the right side of the field and fired a cross into the Ridgway penalty area. After bouncing around in front of the Ridgway net, the ball came to sophomore Julia Bukowski about 12 yards away. Bukowski wound up and fired a shot just under the crossbar for the team’s second goal and a 2-0 lead.
Ridgway was able to put some pressure on the Trojanettes in the early part of the first half. Junior striker Madeline Cowan made a run down the right side and put a cross into the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic box which was scooped up by Trojanette goalkeeper Andrea Bean.
The Trojanettes had a corner kick which was defended by the Lady Elkers with 33:20 left in the first half and Michalski fired a shot which was saved by Ridgway goalkeeper Lindsey Kocjancic later in the opening part of the game.
Later in the first half, Amanda Wiliams had a shot saved with 13:58 to play and then had a free kick from about 35 yards out which was caught by Bean.
Ridgway also had some pressure with 5:12 to go in the first half as the Lady Elkers had a netmouth scramble ultimately defended by Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic played a more defensive style in the second half as Ridgway could not get many scoring opportunities. Ridgway’s best chance came as the Lady Elkers had a corner kick with 25 minutes to play which was defended by the Trojanettes. Kocjancic made multiple strong saves in the second half, including a shot from Michalski which was knocked over the crossbar with both hands, similar to her save in Ridgway’s D-9 semifinal win against ECC. For the game, Kocjancic had 13 saves.
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic finished with nine corner kick attempts. Ridgway had four overall shots on goal and four corner kicks.
The Trojanettes advance to play District 7 runner-up Shady Side on Saturday with more information on that game to be announced. Shady Side defeated Wilmington 6-0 Tuesday.
Ridgway finishes with a 16-6 overall record and as the 2017 District 9 Class A champions. The three seniors on this year’s team are Josie Benninger, Katherine Jacobs and Rachael Schiafone.