By JAKE OSWALT
HOLLIDAYSBURG – The Forest Hills girls’ soccer team knew it had an uphill battle on Tuesday night.
The Rangers faced a strong opponent in Moon, which previously competed in AAA. Moon’s accurate passing and spacing on offense were on display as they won 3-0 in the first round of state playoff action.
Forest Hills (19-1-1) lost for the first time all year to District 7’s runner-up, which took defending state champion Mars to overtime on Saturday. Forest Hills’ defense held strong early in the first half as Moon’s offense kept the ball in the Rangers’ zone most of the night. Senior goalkeeper Megan Ross (19 saves) made an impressive save on a Moon header in the 10th minute.
Moon finally got on the scoreboard in the 24th minute. After a shot went off Ross’ outstretched hands, Moon’s Emily Rode got the rebound and scored in a wide-open net.
Moon added to its lead four minutes later. Moon had a corner kick, in which a player jumped up and headed a shot off the crossbar. A Forest Hills’ defender panicked on the rebound and got called for a handball in the box. Moon’s senior midfielder, Christine Barthen, put the ball into the right side of the net on the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.
Just 3:41 before halftime, Moon converted on another corner kick opportunity. Senior Katie Valach tipped in the corner kick off a bounce for a 3-0 halftime lead.
“Moon was a AAA powerhouse last year,” Forest Hills head coach Donna Gallaher said. “With the PIAA bringing in District 3 and more AAA teams, they dropped down to AA. They have seven senior starters that have played together. They’re just a great team. If you take away the penalty kick and the corner kick, I thought we held our own.”
Forest Hills, after winning the school’s first district championship, just could not flip the momentum throughout the night. The Rangers could only muster two shots on goal, while Moon had 10 corner kicks and the Rangers had none.
“In the second half, the girls worked much better together,” Gallaher said. “They were getting more balls. I can’t be more proud of the girls.
“We’ve come a long way,” Gallaher said about the Forest Hills program. “We played for the district championship three years in a row. It’s the hard work of the girls. It’s a great nucleus of girls. They’re not selfish players. They really have turned the program around.”
By JAKE OSWALT
- HS Sports Forest Hills
PIAA wrestling notebook: Murin not pleased with fifth place
Max Murin won the first 36 matches of his varsity career.
But the Central Cambria freshman was disappointed after he dropped two consecutive bouts on Friday night at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
Area wrestlers search for gold
Conner Buttry and Aaron Burkett will make their debuts in the PIAA Wrestling Championships this morning, but they are quite familiar with a state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Each has been a fixture on the Chestnut Ridge squad that has made back-to-back appearances in the state dual-meet tournament. That familiarity could help them, along with returning state medalist Austin Buttry, when the three Lions hit the mats in Hershey this morning.
Richland wrestler rebounds
Dried blood clung to Nick Naglic’s lip.
A cut to his right eyebrow had finally stopped bleeding but was in need of some stiches.
Central Cambria’s Murin earns championship at 106 pounds
Central Cambria freshman Max Murin was the only area wrestler to capture gold Saturday during the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
The 106-pounder edged out Penn Cambria’s Nolan Link 2-0 in the bracket’s championship bout.
Red Devils’ Murin remains unbeaten in AA Southwest tourney
While wrestling in the lowest possible varsity weight class, it appears that there isn’t a stage too big for Central Cambria freshman Max Murin.
At least that’s what he’s shown during the first day of the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
- High school basketball in brief | Feb. 12, 2014
LHAC, WestPAC titles up for grabs
The winter weather has played havoc on the area athletic schedules and athletic directors have been challenged to reschedule events in a smaller and ever-narrowing time frame.
With that in mind, several teams still have to nail down their berths in Saturday’s WestPAC and Laurel Highlands Conference basketball championship games.
- High school basketball in brief | Feb. 11, 2014
- High school basketball in brief | Jan. 23, 2014
Central wins wrestling team title
Progress was measured in assorted capacities at the Thomas Buick/GMC Wrestling Tournament at Richland High School.
In the case of Cambria Heights coach Mike Eckenrode, the tournament yielded two champions – Levi Niebauer at 160 pounds and Aaron Gill at 285 – and a second-place finish out of the 16 teams at the tournament.
- More HS Sports Forest Hills Headlines
- PIAA wrestling notebook: Murin not pleased with fifth place