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