Soud­er­ton sees a lot of them­selves in state semi­fi­nal op­po­nent Peters Twp.

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - SPORTS - By An­drew Robin­son

When Soud­er­ton takes the field Tues­day for its PIAA Class 4A girls’ soc­cer semi­fi­nal with Peters Twp, it will see a very sim­i­lar team.

For starters, both teams share the same mas­cot. The In­di­ans of Soud­er­ton and the Mighty In­di­ans of Peters Twp both fin­ished sec­ond in their re­spect dis­tricts, with Peters Twp los­ing the WPIAL fi­nal in over­time to Seneca Val­ley and Soud­er­ton fall­ing in over­time to Con­estoga in the District I fi­nal.

Of­fen­sively, both teams are spurred by a youth move­ment up top. Ev­ery goal Peters Twp has scored in its last four matches has come from ei­ther a fresh­man or sopho­more and the Mighty In­di­ans start just two se­niors. An in­jury to one of their top for­wards, Youngstown State rcruit Re­gan LaVigna, pre­cip­i­tated the move but play­ers like CeCe Scott, Sarah Heisinger and Jil­lian Marvin have filled the void well.

Soud­er­ton has Erin O’Keefe up top, but all the play­ers around her — Averie Doughty, Han­nah Alder­fer, Tay­lor Yoder and Leah Mow­ery — are sopho­mores. The three goals the In­di­ans have scored in two state games have from the sopho­mores, two by Alder­fer and one by Doughty.

Both teams are very sound de­fen­sively, al­though Soud­er­ton has the edge in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence in the back with se­nior keeper Lind­sey Pazdziorko, se­nior cen­ter backs Mi­randa Kull­man and Kailee Har­wick and ju­nior full­backs Darby Kramer, Pey­ton Car­roll and sopho­more Gianna Natale.

Peters Twp has a solid keeper in sopho­more Emma Sawich

The mid­field is where both teams re­ally shine. Soud­er­ton is led by its two se­nior standouts in Penn com­mit Sara Readinger and Bloms­burg re­cruit Camp­bell Power and sup­ported by ju­nior Sarah Toche-Man­ley. Power and Readinger shook off slow starts in the quar­ter­fi­nal round to turn in a very strong sec­ond half and over­time ses­sions.

Peters Twp an­chors its mid­field around two of its own top play­ers in se­nior at­tack­ing mid­fielder Natalie Daube and ju­nior hold­ing mid Han­nah Stuck, a Buck­nell re­cruit. Both mid­field­ers are ca­pa­ble scor­ers and Stuck has been a threat all sea­son de­spite play­ing deeper on the pitch.

With both teams a win away from the state fi­nal, and with such sim­i­lar re­sumes, it wouldn’t be a sur­prise to see a game that comes down to a sin­gle chance. LIONHEARTED >> The last two sea­sons, Faith Chris­tian Academy won the District 1-A boys’ soc­cer ti­tle then ran into the buz­z­saw of Camp Hill in states.

Only one team fin­ishes on top in states, but there is some con­so­la­tion in los­ing to the squad that ends up win­ning it all, which the Camp Hill Lions did each of the past two falls. Those two losses in states fueled this Faith Chris­tian team, with the FCA Lions ea­ger to get an­other chance at Camp Hill.

Win­ning their third straight District I ti­tle gave them the win­dow. Se­nior mid­fielder Korey Schus­ter said that night that he and his team­mates knew they could hang with the Camp Hills of the state, but they wanted to take the next step.

Af­ter top­ping Devon Prep, the Lions got their shot at Camp Hill. As ex­pected, it was a tight bat­tle that came down to a late chance. A duel for the ball on the end­line re­sulted in Faith be­ing awarded a cor­ner kick with less than 30 sec­onds left.

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