Gateway’s women’s soccer improves on three-game winning streak
Sunday, September 19, 2021 | 11:01 am
Gateway’s women’s football team came out in the short term with a 5-1 result against Plum, the WPIAL Class 3A runner-up in the past two seasons, in the season opener on September 4 .
But the Gators bounced back from the loss and won three straight games against Hampton, Armstrong and Knoch, all in Section 1-3A play.
âPlum was a big challenge for the opener of the season,â said Gateway coach Kelly Bender.
âOur back line was put to the test in a way we hadn’t seen in our scrums. We adjusted at half-time and stopped much of their attack in the second half. It’s always difficult to lose that first game, but the girls and the staff left the field encouraged by the progression throughout the game and by the possession we had created. We felt like we were ready for the section play.
Gateway scored 18 goals in his first four games thanks to a 6-5 triumph at Knoch on September 14. Seven players have scored goals in this streak.
Senior Addy Green has scored eight of those goals, including the best four against Knoch. She added two against Hampton and two against Armstrong.
Senior Meg McFetridge has scored three goals, the only one against Plum, while fellow senior Jenna Shuman has scored twice.
Others with early goals were juniors Emily Mannion, Hallie Grant and Daniella Garner and rookie Hayden Price.
Junior Madi Jesih and senior Kira Pavlik also contributed with assists.
âGateway is full of kids who work hard, play heartedly and don’t give up,â Bender said.
âThey are a team and fight for each other because they are proud of who they are and where they are from. With such character, they are a talented team. We may be a small team, but we are a deep team. We are dangerous because anyone on this field and the players on our bench are threats. “
Gateway was hoping things continued Monday at home against the enemy in the Indiana section.
The Gators remain in the section Thursday in the Kiski Area and host Franklin Regional at 11 a.m. Saturday before the September 28 rematch of a 4-3 win over Hampton on September 8.
âOur section is super competitive,â said Bender. âI think this will continue throughout the season as long as all of our teams can stay healthy. I can’t wait to see how we compete next week and complete the first round of the section game. It will be a difficult week, but I have full confidence in my players to give their all.
Gateway led Knoch 4-2 at halftime and then extended his lead to 6-4 on a goal against his side of the Knights.
Knoch made it interesting and closed the lead to one goal before the Gators defense could prevent the Knights from leveling the game.
Gateway rallied several times in the match against the reigning Section 1 champion Hampton.
âIt was a very balanced game,â said Bender.
The Talbots led 3-2 with 20 minutes left in regulation. But the Gators responded by scoring the kickoff to equalize on a goal from Green.
Green struck again with the spectacular winner of the match with just 20 seconds on the clock.
At the start of the season, one of the team’s question marks was the goalkeeper. Bender said it was a process but one that continues to take shape.
“We had a few players who expressed interest in the job and a few who we convinced to try,” she said.
“(Sophomore) Jada Settles took on the varsity role for us and did an amazing job. She has a natural gift there. (Freshman) Elena Ellinger also scored for Armstrong and Knoch games. We appreciate that. ‘She’s stepped out of her comfort zone and is helping the team.
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