The Morning Call

Freedom’s Gschrey breaks 100-goal mark

- By Michael Blouse

Haley Gschrey, the senior scoring star from Freedom, was asked what was the highlight of her four years playing for the Patriots.

“The District 11 championsh­ip last year,” she said, “and becoming the first team at Freedom to win that.”

Gschrey was a key part of the Patriots’ Cinderella run through the Class 4A playoffs a season ago, and that unlikely run continued with a win in the state tournament.

This year, however, was a struggle for a younger Freedom team that went 4-6 and failed to qualify for the district’s 4A tournament. The highlight this season came when Gschrey scored her 100th career goal in a 1-0 overtime win over rival Liberty last week.

She also scored in the team’s 2-0 victory over the Hurricanes later in the week and concluded her brilliant career with 101 goals.

Gschrey is the first Eastern Pennsylvan­ia Conference player to reach the rare milestone since Parkland’s Brooke Schutter finished her four years in 2017 with 101 goals. (Schutter is now a junior forward at Duquesne University.)

Due to the COVID-19 shortened season, Gschrey wasn’t sure she’d hit the century mark.

“I’ve had this goal since my freshman year when I thought maybe I could do it,” said Gschrey, who will continue her soccer career at La Salle University. “It means a lot. It was tough to get to this season because we only played 10 games. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get it.”

Gschrey scored 29 goals in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. She totaled 36 a year ago and was The Morning Call’s player of the year. This year, she finished with seven while facing the usual star treatment from opposing defenses.

Freedom’s all-time No. 1 scorer (girls or boys), Gschrey added 31 assists for 233 career points.

“The Freedom soccer team is, of course, very fortunate to have had Haley not only for what the team achieved in the last few years,” coach Bob Eaton said, “but also going forward, as perhaps her achievemen­t will inspire younger girls in the community to do likewise.”

Fantastic final

Before we look ahead to the District 11 soccer playoffs, let’s look back at what was a fantastic Colonial League boys final played on Saturday night at Northweste­rn Lehigh’s Tiger Stadium.

Coach Mark Evans’ Southern Lehigh boys are a deserving champ with a 2-1 win over host Northweste­rn.

The Spartans prevailed, 4-3, in penalty kicks with senior Luca Prando securing the triumph with a conversion in the fifth and final round of PKs.

Evans’ squad was the No. 1 seed and top team throughout the season.

Northweste­rn, though, outplayed Southern Lehigh in the second half and through both 15-minute overtime periods. Coach Nathan Hunsicker’s Tigers put constant pressure on the Spartans’ defense headlined by center back Gavin Bealer, who scored his team’s goal.

There was a lot of intense, thrilling action around both goalkeeper­s.

Credit Northweste­rn for getting the better of the play. Credit Southern Lehigh for holding up stout against that barrage.

Fortunatel­y for the Tigers, and soccer fans, a rematch is in line if Northweste­rn, the No. 4 seed in the D11 3A tournament, beats Bangor. The rematch would come in the semifinals at a site and time to be determined. (Southern Lehigh, as the top seed, earns a quarterfin­al bye.)

“We’re on a crash course,” Hunsicker said. “We’re confident wecan beat them. They beat us twice now by one goal and we’re looking forward to getting some redemption there.”

D11 crash course


Class 4A

Favorite: Emmaus.

Outlook: Emmaus is the defending champ and team to beat. But, Parkland proved that coach John Cari’s club isn’t invincible with a 2-0 win over the Green Hornets last week. Parkland is playing its best soccer, as usual, at the right time. Nazareth is a total wild-card. Coach Gerry Petrozelli’s Blue Eagles enter at 10-1 after winning only two games in 2018. Are they for real? Absolutely. Anyone other than one of those three teams, outside of perhaps 7-0-1 Stroudsbur­g, hoisting the trophy would be a surprise.

Finals prediction: Parkland over Emmaus.

Class 3A

Favorite: Southern Lehigh.

Outlook: Southern Lehigh owns wins over three District 11 champs from a season ago. The Spartans deserve the top seed. Blue Mountain is the Schuylkill League champ and certainly a top threat. East Stroudsbur­g South, as the No. 3 seed, is talented and dangerous. See above on Northweste­rn Lehigh. This will be a fun tournament.

Finals prediction: Northweste­rn over East Stroudsbur­g South.

Class 2A

Favorite: Notre Dame-GP.

Outlook: Notre Dame-GPwas unable to compete in the Colonial League playoffs due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the school. The Crusaders are cleared and ready for the D11 tourney, according to athletics director AmyRogers. NDGPis the three-time defending champion. Central Catholic, tested in the EPC, looms as a semifinal-round opponent.Jim Thorpe of the Schuylkill League is seeded second, with Tamaqua third.

Finals prediction: Central Catholic over Jim Thorpe.

Class A

Favorite: Moravian Academy.

Outlook: Moravian Academy will dominate district opponents, as usual. Finals prediction: Moravian Academy 6-0.


Class 4A

Favorite: Parkland.

Outlook: Unlike on the boys’side, where the only undefeated, untied team in District 11 entering the tournament played four matches (Pleasant Valley), three 4A girls teams are perfect — Parkland (10-0), Nazareth (11-0) and Pocono Mountain East (9-0). Obviously, because of the COVID-19 altered schedule, none of these three teams have squared off. Parkland is a perennial power, winning four of the past five 4Atitles, and Nazareth is confident, deep and experience­d. The Blue Eagles upset Parkland 1-0 in the quarterfin­al round last year — a season that saw the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds meet in the final. That won’t be the case in 2020. (Parkland coach Al Haddad is in quarantine and likely to miss the entire tournament, he confirmed. Assistant Jim Bus is the interim coach.)

Finals prediction: Parkland over Nazareth.

Class 3A Favorite:



Outlook: APottsvill­e vs. Northweste­rn final showdown sounds enticing, and it is likely. Coach Kelly Bleam’s Tigers must get past Southern Lehigh again, a match they won 3-0 in Saturday’s league final. Northweste­rn was impressive in that performanc­e. Pottsville’s only loss is to powerhouse Wilson-West Lawn of District 3.

Finals prediction: Pottsville over Northweste­rn.

Class 2A

Favorite: Central Catholic.

Outlook: Central Catholic enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed, with Palisades No. 1. Central Catholic lost twice to Parkland and once to Emmaus, so those are quality setbacks vs. quality programs. Palisades owns a strong win over Northweste­rn. The Vikings and Pirates are likely finalists with second-seeded Pine Grove a threat.

Finals prediction: Central Catholic over


Class A Favorite: Outlook:


This classifica­tion is likely to come down to a finals rematch between No. 1 seed Minersvill­e and No. 2 Moravian Academy. Moravian prevailed 1-0 last year but the edge this season looks to belong to the Schuylkill League runners-up. Minersvill­e’s only two setbacks are to Pottsville. Northern Lehigh, the No. 4 seed, is making its first ever D11 Class A playoff appearance.

Finals prediction: Minersvill­e over Moravian Academy.

Michael Blouse is a freelance writer.

Boys soccer

(Through Sunday)

Top 10

1. Emmaus 10-1: District 1 1 4A favorites split vs. archrival Parkland; won most recent 1-0

2. Parkland 8-2: Knocked off unbeaten rival Emmaus 2-0 Monday; enter districts in top form

3. Southern Lehigh 12-1: Colonial League champs enter tough 3A bracket as team to beat

4. Nazareth 10-1: Surprise team of season continues to roll; earned No. 2 seed in Class 4A

5. Northweste­rn Lehigh 13-4: Two 1-goal losses vs. Southern Lehigh; should get another shot

6. Freedom 8-2: Bounced back from 1-0 upset loss to rival Liberty with convincing 4-1 victory

7. Moravian Academy 8-2: Lions should dominate D11 Class A despite loss in league semis

8. Stroudsbur­g 7-0-1: Undisputed kings of Monroe County will test mettle in D11 4A tourney

9. Notre Dame-GP8-2: Last year’s D11 2A champs ousted from CL playoffs by COVID-19

10. Pleasant Valley 4-0: Went through COVID-19 shortened Monroe County season perfect

Girls soccer Top 10

1. Parkland 10-0: Trojans on finals collision course with D11 4A’s other unbeaten, Nazareth

2. Nazareth 11-0: Can Blue Eagles topple powerful Parkland in district tournament again?

3. Easton 8-2: Despite back-to-back losses to Nazareth, Red Rovers are D11 4A contender

4. Pocono Mountain East 9-0: Outscored opponents 64-1; legitimacy to be tested in districts

5. Emmaus 7-2-2: Both setbacks are to Parkland; Green Hornets have to win with ‘D’ in 2020

6. Northweste­rn Lehigh 14-2-1: Strong 3-0 win over Solehi in league final; Class 3A co-favorite

7. Central Catholic 8-3-1: No. 3 seed in Class 2A; Vikings favorite nonetheles­s for D11 crown

8. Northampto­n 6-4: Must win firstround playoff vs. Whitehall to earn shot at No. 1 Parkland

9. Southern Lehigh 9-3-1: Get another opportunit­y vs. NWLehigh; must improve to advance

10. Pleasant Valley 7-1: Real tough test vs. Easton in quarterfin­al round of D11 4A tournament

 ?? BYTHE GSCHREYFAM­ILY CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Freedom senior soccer player Haley Gschrey celebrates scoring her 100th career goal with, from left, mother, Deborah, brother, Michael and father, Stephen.
BYTHE GSCHREYFAM­ILY CONTRIBUTE­D Freedom senior soccer player Haley Gschrey celebrates scoring her 100th career goal with, from left, mother, Deborah, brother, Michael and father, Stephen.

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