Clarion Area Bobcats Girls Soccer End Playoff Run Against Redbank Valley 1-3 (Posted 10/28/20)
(Images by Matt Lerch) Above: Jenna Miller in earlier action.
(By Matt Lerch)
The Clarion Area Bobcats Girls Soccer team advanced to the second round of District 9 playoffs at Redbank Valley on Wednesday October 28th, on a damp and chilly evening. The Lady Cats had just come off a first round playoff win on Monday, beating the Curwensville Golden Tide 4-1. The Bobcats however lost this evening to Redbank by the score of 1-3.
The injury riddled Bobcat squad played the season without star midfielder Anna Gribik and lost dependable speedster and scorer Evelyn Lerch to a season ending broken collar bone on Monday evening’s game. The good news is not only did the Bobcats had Senior Captain Ava Cherico back on the field, but the hard working winger Joyce (JK) Kim was reactivated after an injury earlier in the season.
The game was played mostly in the midfield with both defenses wound tight. Senior Captain Jenna Miller kept the Redbank offense honest by shutting down continual attacks with her flank covered by defenders Ruby Smith, Robyn Stahlman and Hannah Hazlett. The only goal in the first half came from a free kick by Redbank that made the Bulldog lead 0-1 going into halftime.
The second half had familiar undertones from the first half. The game being primarily played in the middle of the field with few opportunities to strike a ball for a shot. Once again, Redbank scored on a free kick over the outstretched arms of Bobcat goalie Chesney Boggess.
The Bobcats only had 6 shots on goal during the game, when finally striker Lexi Coull gave Redbank a taste of their own medicine by taking a penalty kick called off a hand ball and finding the back of the net for a Bulldog lead of 2-1.
Ten minutes were left on the clock, with the Bobcats playing unyielding soccer. Redbank then had a break and found a seam in the Bobcats’ defense and shot on goal for a 3-1 lead going into the final minutes. Lexi Coull had one more opportunity, with less than 10 seconds on the still ticking clock, when she was awarded a free kick. With time expiring, as she shot the goal the game ended with the goalie making the stop.
Head Coach Chris Schonbachler with Assistant Coaches Stephanie Lias and Nikki Glenn should be commended for taking the Bobcats the furthest ever for a Bobcat girls soccer team. The Bobcats will sorely miss departing seniors Jenna Miller, Emily Grabiak, Ava Cherico and Hannah Hazlett.
If the stars align correctly during the off season, the Bobcats look to return next year to see if they can continue the magic of believing in and eventually obtaining a Bobcat District 9 crown.
(Thanks to Matt Lerch for this article and images. Congratulations, on a great season Lady Cats!!!! And to those returning, with hard work and the Lord willing, you’ll obtain that title!!!!)