Harriton district soccer doubleheader: girls advance, boys lose in opening round

The magical season for the Harriton girls’ soccer team will continue for another day while a rewarding season for the Harriton boys’ team ended much too soon. With Harriton hosting its first PIAA District One Class AAA boy/girl soccer doubleheader in recent memory, the girls opened the night with a thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting Bishop Shanahan before Central Bucks South spoiled the night with a 4-0 win over the hosts.

Making their first post-season appearance in three years, the Rams made the most of their opportunity thanks to keeper Claire Coyle who delivered the perfect set piece from 37 yards out that landed right on the head of sophomore Morgan Rees, who headed the ball to the far post with 15:32 remaining in the second half to give the 13th seeded Rams the 1-0 lead. With stellar defense, Rees’ goal turned out to be the game winner vaulting Harriton into the second round where they will face 4th seeded Spring Ford on Thursday at a time to be determined.
“I knew Marlee (Zales) was typically our runner in that situation,” said Coyle, referencing the set piece she was about to take. “As i was about to strike the ball I saw Morgan making a run into the box around the 18-yard line. I tried to place the shot at the PK spot in the box like I always to try do and Morgan made a great run and headed the ball into the ball into the back of the net.”
Rees added, “I always try to run across the box and I realized my defender was not running with me so I cut in and saw the ball coming. I tried to head the ball and I just happened to get my head on the ball and it went in.”
With their victory, Harriton advances to the second round where they will face the No. 4 seed SpringFord on Thursday at a time to be determined.
Following the game, Harriton coach Jeff Rhodes informed his players about All-Central League: First Team – Claire Coyle and Sammie Bigham. Second Team – Morgan Rees and Filippa Graneld. Honorable Mention – Reilly Short and Daniella Milani.
Following the win by the girls team, the Harriton boys team was hoping to extend their own season. Similar to the girls team, the boys team had early season struggles of their own that included a five-game losing streak. With making the district playoffs in jeopardy, the Rams went on an impressive run to not only make the district playoffs but end up with a home game. With their backs against the wall, the Rams came together and pulled off key wins over Springfield (D) and Haverford which was the start of a strong second half.
“This season was especially rewarding,” said senior co-captian Felix Serlin following the game. “We thought the low point of the season would be us not making the district playoffs but everyone worked hard and to earn a home game was very rewarding.”
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