The Southern Columbia girls soccer team has become red hot over its past four playoff games and it will have to take down another high quality opponent when it plays Montrose (22-1) tomorrow at 1 p.m. in a PIAA Class 1A quarterfinal matchup at Dunmore High School.
The Tigers (17-4-1) have scored an average of 3 goals per game since the playoffs began and the team’s defense has shut down opposing offenses with relative ease. Southern has given up only four goals in four playoff contests.
The Tigers are often seen with three to six players racing back to play defense and help create a shield in front of goalkeeper Rilyn Wisloski.
Southern assistant coach Jen Stine said part of that has to do with Wisloski communicating with her teammates.
“Rilyn has said, ‘Get back’, She’s a vocal leader. We try to squeeze teams into limited space. The more space we can limit the other team to, the quicker we can get the ball back,” Stine added.
Morgan Marks has scored four goals throughout the playoffs, including a two-goal performance in a 5-0 win over Moravian Academy on Tuesday.
“We’ve challenged Morgan over the past four years. She has a whole new level of confidence. Before she used to rely on her speed, but now she makes plays in other ways and she finds others and gets them involved,” Stine said.
Southern has made big plays in part because the team has been able to pass the ball effectively.
“We preach that off ball movement creates opportunity. If they get into space quickly and be patient that helps in finding the right passes during a game,” Stine said.
Morgan Cole recorded three assists against Moravian and Tori Romania had a pair of assists versus East Juniata last Saturday.
Different Southern players have stepped up and scored goals during this magical season.
Kari Cambria has a goal in three of Southern’s past four contests. Sami Palacz has scored a goal in two of the Tigers’ playoff games.
In the win over Moravian, the Tigers scored three times in the last 26 minutes of the opening half.
Southern weaved through a defense that got tired as the game went along.
Prior to the Moravian game, the Tigers last four wins included the eventual game-winning goal being scored in the second half.
Wisloski had nine saves versus the Lions offense and made sure to secure the ball before thinking about making a play downfield. Her counterpart, Anna Mayer, had some trouble hanging onto the ball, which helped Southern get a few opportunities to score on offense.
Montrose is coming off a 2-1 win versus Fairfield in the first round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs.
The Meteors won courtesy of two penalty kicks and held the Knights scoreless in the second half.
Montrose’s Maddy Gilhool scored with 7:26 remaining in the first half of the contest.
Brianna Spence knocked in the game-winning goal with about 31 minutes left.
Southern assistant coach Jen Stine said Montrose has a high powered offense and that the Meteors “score alot of goals in the back of the net.”
The Meteors have outscored its last three opponents by a count of 15-1.