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Moatemri scores in final seconds to give Dock Mennonite District 1-1A title

Dock Mennonite players gather for a team picture after defeating MaST Charter 2-1 in the District 1-1A final on Thursday, November 1, 2018. (James Beaver/For Digital First Media)
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WHITEMARSH >> With just nine seconds left, Lauren Moatemri’s direct kick rocketed through the air and towards the MaST Charter goal, 25 yards away.

Panthers keeper Gianna Juiliano got a piece of it, but not enough to keep the ball from its destination. The hard-hit and well-aimed shot trickled into the right side of the net, providing the winning difference in Dock Mennonite’s 2-1 victory over the Panthers in a tightly-contested District 1-1A Final at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Thursday night.

“There was a wall in front of me, and I knew it was gonna be hard to find the angle that I wanted,” Moatemri said. “With the pace of the ball and the speed, even if she touched it, I felt it would go in.”

Dock got the trophy and now advances to states.

Asked what the victory means to the team, Moatemri said simply: “It means we have practice tomorrow.

“It means we have the confidence to make it through and push through to states, and achieve what we want to.”

It was an evening in which top-seeded Dock put plenty of pressure on the Panther net and generated many scoring chances, but found itself tied 1-1 until Moatemri connected.

Mast Charter goalie Gianna Juiliano (21) is unable to make a diving save on a Dock Mennonite goal scored by Lauren Moatemri that put the Pioneers up 2-1 in the closing seconds of the District 1-1A final on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (James Beaver/For Digital First Media)

“I think (Juiliano’s) a great goalie. I think some of our shots, if our girls placed them, we were capable of scoring against her,” Pioneers coach Shea Neal said. “But she’s a great goalie and we needed a shot like Lauren’s, that, yeah, might have been right near the keeper, but was hard enough that it tipped in.

“I think we were missing a lot of power towards their goal, and we got the power in the end from Lauren, so that was good.”

Dock was able to avenge a regular-season loss to MaST to claim the top spot in the district.

Dock Mennonite forward Peyton Scialanca (17) readies for a shot with MaST Charter defender Sarah Rooney (18) giving chase during the District 1-1A final on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (James Beaver/For Digital First Media)

“We’ve had a few bumps in the road here but mainly because we were off our game or maybe we were failing to connect on the field certain games,” Neal said. “Never once during the season did I think these girls weren’t capable of playing like the top team in the district.

“We knew we played MaST before and we lost. But it was a good game. It was one of those games where you put the effort in but don’t get the outcome you want. The girls deserved this one.”

Dock took a 1-0 lead 15 minutes in when Peyton Scialanca knocked a bouncing shot into the left corner. Emma Kratz very nearly made it 2-0 moments later, hitting the post on a breakaway.

Juiliano stopped a flurry of Dock shots just before the break, and then eight minutes into the second half, the Panthers tied it 1-1 when Alexa Murphy followed up her own rebound to beat Dock keeper Audrey Schweizerhof.

Dock Mennonite seniors Brooke Bozarth (15), Audrey Schweizerhof (0), and Abigail Morgan (9) gather with the District 1-1A championship trophy after defeating MaST Charter 2-1  in the district final on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (James Beaver/For Digital First Media)

It remained deadlocked at one apiece until the final seconds, when Moatemri put everything she had into the game-winning kick.

“My favorite thing about this team is that we all lift each other up,” Scialanca said.

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