Christopher Dock shocked by Trinity in PIAA Class A quarterfinals

HAMBURG — The Christopher Dock girls soccer team was 30 seconds away from its second appearance in the PIAA Class A semifinals in three seasons. That all came to halt with one swift Savannah Shultz boot into the back of the net. Trinity tied the quarterfinal contest on Saturday at the end of regulation and stole the spot in the semis in the final minute of overtime. The Shamrocks Ashley Rogliano’s goal gave the Shamrocks the 3-2 victory.

“Our kids did a great job,’ Pioneers coach Ray Hess said. “All season we have been playing hard like this. Somebody has to win and the Soccer gods were not with us today. We had 31 seconds left and it just did not happen for us.’

Using their speed to secure a lead, back fired in the final minute of regulation. Injuries forced the Pioneers (16-5) to play with a limited roster and defending for the full 80, especially the final 26 minutes with the lead took its toll. Shultz shocked the Pioneers and deflated Dock in extra time. The Shamrocks (19-1-2) fed off the last second score and Rogliano pushed her team into the next round in the final minute of overtime.

“We had 11 players playing pretty much the whole game,’ Hess said. “We have injuries out the ying-yang. Madison Landis could not go, Tabitha Miller was hurt and Nikki (Clements) was hurt a little bit. I guess we ran out of steam.’

The Pioneers had their own last minute magic. With two seconds left in the first half it was junior Nikki Clements who shocked the Shamrocks with a goal. Her unassisted score brought the District 1 champs even 1-1 at the half with the District 3 champs. It was very evident both teams were going to play to the buzzer. “We came out scared a little bit,’ Hess said. “We knew they were in Class AA and dropped down. We played off of them and did not press as much as we should have. You have to put pressure on them for 80 minutes. We were 31 seconds short of that.’

Clements was the first to score for the Pioneers, but they pressured the net and came close on several other occasions. Olivia Seavy hit the post minutes before the junior’s equalizer. The Shamrocks’ Thersea Durle opened the scoring in the 13th minute. The Pioneers quickly realized they could play with last year’s Class AA runner-ups and it showed in the second half.

“Once we got our goal we stepped it up and played our game,’ Clements said. “We worked a lot on getting our defenders up the field and having someone else cover. I knew I had to push up with like 20 seconds left. We were not playing our game in the first half. In the second half we started connecting.’

The Pioneers took the lead in the 54th minute as senior Bailey Kratz kept her kick low and the fast-moving grounder glanced off the Shamrock goalie and into the net. Kratz stayed up top while every one else went to defensive back position in hopes to secure the win. It looked at but secured before Shultz’ heroics.

“I think we showed we belonged here,’ Clements said. “I wish we could have kept going, but I think we played to the best of our ability.’

The Pioneers had the experience, they had the speed. But Saturday at Hamburg’s Hawk Hill they did not have the luck.

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