Lady Wolves Crush BFA-Fairfax for DIII State Title
The Lady Wolves of Peoples Academy have won the DIII State Championship in girls soccer for 2012. This is their fifth DIII championship in seven years and are repeat champions. The Lady Wolves compiled a record of 18-0 outscoring their opponents 111-4 over the 18 matches. Ana Swift averaged just ~2 saves per game with credit going to the tenacious and virtually impenetrable defense that started in the midfield and filtered through to the back line. Pictured are: (Back Row L-R) Coach Jim Eisenhardt, Michelle Yando, Mary Fafard, Courtney Emerson –Team Manager, Nicole Leikert, Izzy Weiss, Ana Swift, Kaitlyn Newton, Julia Duca, Cherokee Hill, Elise Zilius, Kayla Carr, Kaitlyn Jones and Naomi Quad; (Middle Row far right: L-R) Kelli Grimes, Hannah Merriam and Coach Carolyn Stames; (Front Row L-R) Carie Wan, Marrissa Benson, Katie Stames, Haleigh West, MicaelaGailmor, Megan Lamare, Hayley VanCor and Katie Fish. Missing from the photo is Coach Phil Kiely. --Scott West photo
by Scott West
As it should be, the number one seed, PA, played the number two seed, BFA-Fairfax for the DIII State Title on Saturday, November 3, in Williamstown. Under overcast skies with a chill in the air, the Lady Wolves were not only playing for the state title, but they are the defending state champions.
With a huge crowd in attendance from both Morrisville and Fairfax along with the good luck Lady Wolves’ silhouettes providing support in the form of a flying V overlooking the pitch, the Lady Wolves began their quest to not only win the state title but to repeat as champions and to go undefeated on the season. To go undefeated is something that has not been done (as far as this reporter knows) in the recent history of PA soccer.
The match started out with BFA-Fairfax (13-1-0) delivering the ball off the kick off deep into the PA defensive third. The Bullets set out putting a modest amount of pressure on the Lady Wolves’ defensive backs. The Bullets were able to keep the ball in the PA end and did get off a shot on goal that was easily handled by PA’s keeper Ana Swift. Swift was able to punt the deep where it was collected on the defensive side of the pitch by Katie Stames. Stames took the ball and carved her way through the Bullet defense into their 18. Stames’ touch on the ball got a little ahead of her and the ball was gobbled up by the Bullet keeper Emily Miner to stop that attack. Minor in return executed a huge kick. The ball was gathered in by BFA’s Anissa Hartmann who slipped a pass to teammate Morgan Young making her way to the PA 18. Just outside the 18, Young was nudged off the ball by PA’s Micaela Gailmor earning BFA a direct kick from about 22 yards out from the PA goal. The kick was taken and the shot was directly at Swift, who handled it with ease.
Both teams began to settle in after the first few minutes of the match, but it was PA who had the advantage. PA’s silent but implacable (right) wing midfielder, Katie Fish, took the ball on the right side of the pitch and simply outplayed her defender and made her run to the BFA 18. Fish went deep into the 18 with two defenders on her always garnering more attention from the BFA defense. Almost surrounded by the Bullet defense, Fish unloaded a blistering pinpoint pass to Kelli Grimes who was atop of the BFA 6 yard box. Grimes took the Fish pass and buried in goal number one of the match. Just two minutes later Stames did the same thing on the left side of the pitch, however her pass into the center of the 18 went untouched by either team and out of scoring threat to the Bullets. Stames collected her second goal about 6 minutes later when PA earned a corner kick. Hannah Merriam’s kick is gathered in by midfielder Marissa Benson, who spied Stames cutting to the BFA net. Benson tagged Stames with a crisp pass that she collected and stroked in for goal number two.
BFA began to dump the ball ahead of their strikers with long kicks in an attempt to put the ball into the PA defensive third. The Lady Wolves’ defense, beginning with the midfield stretching through to the backs and keeper, would have none of this. The long balls from BFA were intercepted, controlled and redirected with purpose up the pitch to an awaiting PA player. Goal number three resulted when Merriam took a pass from Stames off a corner kick, then passed it back to Stames making her way deep into the BFA 18. Stames took the Merriam pass and blistered a shot on goal. BFA’s Miner was not able to handle Stames’ shot and the ball ended up in the Bullets’ net.
Off a free kick situation about 40 yards out from the BFA goal PA’s sweeper Michelle Yando passed the ball to Megan Lamare; Lamare drove forward and released a pass to Stames. Stames, now in the 18, took the Lamare pass and powered in goal number four. Stames was not done scoring. Just several minutes later off a corner kick from Merriam, Stames, again in the 18, settles the ball and rips in goal number five. It was Stames’ fourth goal of the half and 43rd of the year.
Goal number six comes from Merriam. Gailmor had made a run up the left side of the pitch with the ball leaving Merriam alone out on the wing. Gailmor slides a pass to Merriam, who takes the Gailmor pass and hammers in goal number six.
The half ends with the Lady Wolves in solid command with the 6-0 score.
The second half begins with PA composed, calm and committed to keeping this lead; when about two minutes tick off the clock, Benson slips a pass to Stames who amasses great attention from the BFA defense. Skillfully, Stames cuts through the defenders and catches Merriam flying down the center of the pitch to the Bullet goal. Stames unleashes a deft pass that catches Merriam in stride. Merriam takes the Stames pass and, as if she was shot out from a cannon, explodes past the BFA defenders leaving her alone on the goalie, Miner. Merriam, without question or hesitation takes on Miner and as Miner comes off her line to cut down the angle of Merriam’s run, Merriam hammers a shot into the BFA net for goal number seven. Merriam, like Stames, was not yet done with scoring on the day. From a Yando pass, Merriam again takes the ball into the Bullet 18 sprinting past the BFA defense and with authority crushes the ball into the net for goal number eight.
PA’s Kaitlyn Jones with 28:26 left in the game got possession of the ball about 20 yards out from the BFA net and rifles a shot that strikes the crossbar just inches from going in –showing the depth PA has in scoring potential.
The Lady Wolves’ scoring ends with Jones again being involved in the attack. Jones unleashes a kick that redirects the ball that is heading for the BFA six. In line of the Jones’ kick is Grimes. Grimes skies for the ball and with a flick of her head redirects the ball past Ashley Williams, the new BFA keeper, and into the net for the ninth and final goal of the match.
PA had 18 shots on goal to BFA’s 4. Swift ended up with only 2 saves for the entire match.
The Lady Wolves win the match 9-0, and are the (repeat) State Champions in Division III and end the season undefeated with a remarkable 18-0 record!!
Impressive, indescribable, jaw dropping and amazing can be used to describe this year’s success… The Lady Wolves scored 111 total goals to having only 4 goals given up, a 32 game win streak and they have had 13 shut out games this season alone.
This year’s spectacular run and incredible accomplishments were due mainly to one concept and philosophy that the girls espoused and have done so in what has become tradition for a number of years; and that simply can be stated as what the girls echo before and after every practice and actual match; and that is “TEAM………..You Know!!!!!!!