Clarion Area Bobcats Girls Soccer Team Advances To Semifinals, In District Nine Class-A Playoffs With Win Over Curwensville, Coull with Hat Trick (Posted 10/26/20)

(Above image by Matt Lerch): Clarion Area Goalkeeper Chesney Boggess.

(Article by Matt Lerch)

The Clarion Area Bobcats Girls Soccer team won what is believed to be their first soccer playoff win since the program began.  The Bobcats won 4-1 on home turf against Curwensville on Monday October 26, 2020, in the District Nine Class-A playoffs. 

In the first two minutes of the game, Alex Leadbetter crossed a pass to striker Lexi Coull, scoring top shelf for an early Bobcat lead 1-0.  But several minutes later, Curwensville scored when the Golden Tide was awarded a free kick just outside the goal box.  The original kick was stopped by Bobcat Goalie Chesney Boggess, but the ball bounced out of her grasp for an awaiting opponent who scored on the rebound. 

The Bobcats worked tirelessly trying to make an opportunity for another quick strike and relying on their fast break capability advantage.  Right wing captain Emily Grabiak took advantage of an open pass opportunity, popping the ball over the Curwensville defense where a speeding Coull found the ball and herself only facing the goalie, scoring again top left for a 2-1 lead.  Coull still had some magic in the first half, as midfielder Evelyn Lerch squirted the ball though the defense for a copycat goal again by Coull, for her hat trick goal making the lead 3-1 going into the half. 

The Clarion defense of Jenna Miller, Ruby Smith, Hannah Hazlett and Robyn Stahlman protected Boggess all game, with three different forwards from Curwensville capable of inflicting damage.  Lerch intercepted the ball from a clearing attempt and shot a bullet just over the top of the goal.  Coull took the ball on her possible fourth goal, as the ball literally was bouncing over the muddy and bumpy field, when the ball was struck by her knee instead of her foot.  The ball was stopped by the Curwensville keeper, but Grabiak was there to clean up the rebound by shooting the ball to the left side of the goal for a 4-1 lead. 

Lerch then found herself freed, for one last attempt, as she erupted through the defense. (Lerch was fouled and was down and has a season ending injury.) Grabiak took the shot for Lerch, but was stopped by the goaltender.  Goaltender Boggess ended the game with 15 saves on goal.

The game ended a minute later, with the Girls Bobcat Soccer squad advancing for the first time to the next level of playoffs.  The Bobcats will take on the Redbank Valley Bulldogs away on Wednesday, October 28th at 4PM, in the Class-A semifinal round. 

(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and image. GREAT START TO THE PLAYOFFS, LADY CATS!!!!)