Iower joreland claims Bicen title
After helping to start the iower joreland girls’ soccer program just seven years ago, only to leave the school to return to Council oock last season, gohn Oberholtzer made the correct decision by returning to the iady iions this season.
,n KLs firsW sHasRn baFN with the iady iions – his sLxWK RvHraOO wLWK WKH sTuaG – the iower joreland head coach and 38-year veteran helped lead iower joreland to a Bicentennial ieague title following a 5-0 win over kew Hope-Solebury on Tuesday afternoon at iower joreland High School.
The league championship was nRW RnOy WKH firsW IRr WKH iower joreland girls’ soccer WHaP, buW WKH firsW HvHr OHaJuH title in the history of any iower joreland soccer team, which includes the club programs.
“f told the girls that this was nRW WKH firsW FKaPSLRnship f’ve been a part of,” said Oberholtzer, who has coached other wrestling, tennis and soccer teams over the past four decades. “f’ve won district titles and been in states with Council oock, but to do it with these girls was great. f’m just thrilled to death for them coming from a year when they were truly the underdogs and were able to step up when they were in a position to win the league.”
Oberholtzer was also impressed to see his team score five goals against a team like kew Hope, which had not given up five goals to a team all year.
“7R sFRrH fivH JRaOs aJaLnsW kew Hope is an accomplishment in itself,” he said. “kobody else has done that and all the games played between all of these league teams have bHHn FORsH. 7R sFRrH fivH JRaOs against them is unreal. te just had a great game. te are nRW fivH JRaOs bHWWHr WKan 1Hw Hope, they just had an off-day today, but today we were.”
7KH /aGy /LRns, wKR finished with a league record of 7-0-3 and currently sit undefeated with an overall record of 10-0-3, started off slow Rn 7uHsGay, buW wHrH finaOOy able to get on the scoreboard 20 minutes into the contest.
gunior captain jelinda jartins headed in a free kick from sophomore Bridgette Alexander to give iower 0RrHOanG WKH firsW KaOI OHaG. The iady iions led 2-0 at the half, after Alexander scored a goal of her own beIRrH WKH HnG RI WKH firsW KaOI.
fn the second half, junior DHPL 0RrJansWHLn sFRrHG twice for iower joreland and freshman Alyssa Ciolko added one to give the iady iions the 5-0 victory.
“te started out poorly for the firsW 10-15 PLnuWHs, buW RnFH wH sFRrHG WKaW firsW JRaO, wH stepped it up from then on,” Oberholtzer said. “f thought we had the majority of the play. And to have a girl like Bridgette, who is just fantastic, is huge. kew Hope has girls who played on a state championship team, so for a freshman to step up like that and put the defense on their heels was huge. She has three more years for us, which is a coach’s dream. To have a player like that who can score goals against a legitimate team and still know you have her for three more years, it’s just incredible and a real plus.”
Alexander, who is closing Ln Rn 20 JRaOs Ln KHr firsW sHason with the iady iions, credits the return of Oberholtzer
with the reason for Lower Moreland’s success this year.
“It’s all really because of ‘Mr. O’ coming back and giving us a boost to start the season off,” Alexander said. “It’s a great feeling to win and being a freshman, it’s really amazing to come in and get a good start and also to give the seniors a good last year.”
Besides receiving multiple goals from freshmen on Tuesday, the Lady Lions, who only had one senior on WhH fiHOG DJDLQVW 1Hw HRSH, also saw their freshman goalkeeper play an excellent game. Victoria Mueller stopped a handful of shots in net to earn the shutout for Lower Moreland.
But the real story on Tuesday was not just a huge shutout win over a team that beat Lower Moreland 7-0 last VHDVRQ, EuW WhH fiUVW OHDJuH title in the history of the school’s soccer programs.
“We’ve come close before, but no cigar,” Oberholtzer said. “I’ve been in and out of this program, but I came back and for me personally, I’m just excited for the girls to be able to experience this. Me, I’m just at peace that we stayed with soccer long enough that the kids could have some success.”
With an extremely young team and nearly every single starter returning to next year’s team, the future looks very bright for Lower Moreland girls’ soccer. The Lady Lions are certainly past the days of losing to schools like New Hope and Christopher Dock by scores of 7-0 – something which happened against both squads last year.
Against New Hope and Dock, the Lady Lions finished the 2012 season with a combined record of 2-0-2, winning and tying against each rival school.
“We have districts still and hopefully we’ll come in strong and show everyone that we can compete with better teams than we have before,” Alexander said. “It was great to come in and show everyone this year that Lower Moreland can still produce really good players in this league.”