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Central Bucks South scores late winner over Manheim Twp., advances to state final

ROYERSFORD >> Terry Law just didn’t want to talk about the goal that eliminated his Blue Streaks in Tuesday night’s PIAA Class AAAA  girls soccer playoffs.

It came with 3:39 left and was disputed, but perhaps it was just too painful.

“I don’t want to comment on the goal,” Law said. “They had a good opportunity and they capitalized.”

The tally, by Central Bucks South’s Brooke Steigerwalt, prevented the Blue Streaks from landing in Friday’s state finals and instead gave the Titans a monumental 1-0 victory to advance to the Class AAAA final on Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium against Canon McMillan.

“It’s so amazing,” Steigerwalt said, in the midst of the celebration. “It feels so great to be going to play for the state championship.”

Central Bucks South's Kylie Walsh (13) carries the ball as Manheim Township's Alexa Miller-Smith chases. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)

Central Bucks South’s Kylie Walsh (13) carries the ball as Manheim Township’s Alexa Miller-Smith chases. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

CB South’s joy was Manheim Township’s pain and you could sympathize with Law’s decision. His team had come through the brackets, and held a clear territorial edge throughout the first half Tuesday night.

But those first-half chances came up empty.

One of the best chances came when Allison Heckman was thwarted by South’s Corinne McDonald, who scrambled back to stop a shot with goaltender Delaney MacKnight way out of the net.

And when South took over play in the second half, the Streaks’ state dreams were on thin ice.

The ice cracked in those final minutes, and Manheim’s state aspirations cracked with it.

“We owned the first half,” Law said. “We just didn’t reach that level we needed to break through and score a goal.

“We were just too focused on coming up the middle. We got out of sync and didn’t really move the ball to the outside, which you have to do at his level.”

The second half belonged to the Titans, who had a pair of dangerous throw-ins at both the 27- and 25-minute marks, with the Titans’ only answer coming on a Heckman shot off a nifty cross from Sofia Gish.

But on the whole, it was the Titans’ half.

“We tweaked our offense in the second half,” said South head coach Betsy Bullock. “I thought (Manheim) held the offensive edge in the first half, and we came back a played a little stronger in the second half.”

Central Bucks South's Margot Centofanti (26) knocks the ball away from Manheim Township's Sofia Gish during a PIAA Class 4A semifinal on Nov. 15 at Spring-Ford. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)

Central Bucks South’s Margot Centofanti (26) knocks the ball away from Manheim Township’s Sofia Gish during a PIAA Class 4A semifinal on Nov. 15 at Spring-Ford. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Finally, the Titans got the opportunity on a break up the pitch.

Aleksa Peev had her shot go off the goalpost, but the ball was banged in by Steigerwalt, who was lurking around the net.

“It hit off the post, but it just sat there,” Steigerwalt said. “and I was lucky enough to get a shot at it.”

And when the ball found the back of the net, the Titans were in the finals, and the Blue Streaks were, well, left feeling blue.

“We had a great season,” Law said. “But if you’re not playing your best at this time of the year and against a quality team like South, you’re going to be in trouble.”

Central Bucks South's Courtney Taylor closes down a Manheim Township player in the second half on Nov. 15. (Austin Hertzog - Digital First Media)

Central Bucks South’s Courtney Taylor closes down a Manheim Township player in the second half on Nov. 15. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

 

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