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Plymouth Whitemarsh rallies in 2nd half to beat Upper Dublin

 

UPPER DUBLIN >> The Plymouth Whitemarsh girls soccer team was so down Wednesday afternoon that they would have needed a boost just to see the bottom of the pitch.

A win Tuesday against Springfield-Montco had been a nice jolt, but when the Colonials got down by a goal in the first half Wednesday afternoon at Upper Dublin, it felt like it was chasing a dozen.

At the break, Colonials head coach Ryan Zehren took the positive approach.

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Upper Dublin’s Lexi Schneider and Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Lauren Branscome battle for possession of the ball during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

“I could see they were down, it was about 90 degrees, they were sagging,” the first-year mentor said. “I told them they had to find something down deep.

“They were only down one goal, but I think to them it felt like 10.”

Zehren asked his girls to get one goal, and that might lead to another.

He got a bonus.

Early in the half, the Colonials saw Ali Diamond’s long-range free kick somehow find the back of the net, and it was as if someone had aimed a blast of ice at the hot and dragging side.

In a matter of moments Victoria Betterly and Lauren Fortescue both added goals, the visitors’ lead was two goals and by full time, PW had a 4-2 victory and a new lease on its season.

“All week we’ve been practicing finishing,” Betterly said. “We just lost, 3-1, to Wissahickon and we had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t put away. And then, today, we got three goals in about five minutes, we kind of caught them on their heels.”

The first half was all Cardinals, as the home side got a goal from Paige Lawton to take the lead, and carried play most of the half.

“We were controlling play, but we had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t put away,” said Cardinals head coach John Topper. “We only got that one goal.”

And it was a goal that wouldn’t hold up.

Gene Walsh — Digital First Media  Upper Dublin’s Katelyn King works to settle the ball near Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Alyse Caffrey September 14, 2016.

Upper Dublin’’s Katelyn King works to settle the ball near Plymouth Whitemarsh’’s Alyse Caffrey during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

With the 3-1 margin, the Colonials simply dropped everyone back and blunted most of the Cardinals opportunities, although Upper Dublin’s Tori Hoffner made it interesting with a goal in the final 6:00 of the half.

Betterly answered that strike with one of her own in the final minutes, and the Colonials’ season suddenly had life.

“It was great getting that free kick into the net,” Diamond said. “It seemed that put momentum on our side, and we just kept going.

“We got a little spark when we beat Springfield (Tuesday), and maybe that carried over into today.”

As for Zehren, he was reveling in the victory, and extolling the virtues of his team.

“I just feel we can play with anybody in this league,” he said. “This team has a positive attitude about it, our girls won’t back down from anybody.

“I actually prefer coaching girls to coaching boys. This team never feels as though they’re out of it.”

As for Topper, he was optimistic his side would come around as well.

“We take them one at a time, and I believe we have a real good team here,” the coach said. “We have a lot of good, young players, and hopefully they’ll get better a little at a time and we’ll be strong by the end of the year.”

Top Photo: Plymouth Whitemarsh’’s Sarah Putsch and Upper Dublin’s Priya Kaneria go for a loose ball during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

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