WVC girls soccer: Dallas uses strong second half to down Berwick

By Jay Monahan - For Times Leader

DALLAS TWP. — For nearly two-thirds of Monday’s game, Dallas was on the verge of being upstaged by a much younger, more determined Berwick girls soccer team.

With the tension wearing on everyone sporting light blue shorts and pink socks, it only seemed a matter of time before the Bulldogs splintered the defending champions’ conference title aspirations.

And then the floods came.

Two identical goals scored in a 66-second span uplifted Dallas to a 3-0 victory over Berwick on Monday in Wyoming Valley Conference girls soccer action. The Mountaineers rallied from their first-half doldrums to hold on for the final 20 minutes.

“We were frustrated,” Dallas coach Nikki Pekarski said. “I told them at halftime — let’s just get out our frustrations. It did take a little bit for us to get going. I thought that whoever scored first — us or Berwick — was going to break the game open. It was just a matter of who gets deflated at the right time.”

Emma Sweitzer scored two goals to seal the win and help the Mountaineers’ chances toward an Oct. 20 finale with Crestwood that could likely determine the WVC Division 1 title.

But it was Ali Francis’ score in the 58th minute that ignited the dormant Dallas offense. Megan MacNeely sent a cross-field through ball to set up a breakaway chance. Francis delivered a shot to the left side for the game-winning goal.

“She was able to finish it,” Pekarski said. “When Ali plays hard, the whole team feeds on her. When she is on the top of her game, so is everyone else.”

Soon after, midfielder Emma Sweitzer mirrored Francis’ goal in the 59th. Francis placed a pass through the defense to open field. Sweitzer outran and jostled a defender before sticking in the team’s second goal.

With less than three minutes left in the game, Sweitzer created her own scoring opportunity. She cut towards the middle of the field and unleashed a shot to the far post from 18 yards out for the final goal.

Controlling the lion’s share of possession for the first 55 minutes, Berwick outshot Dallas 15-7 but were unable to muster anything on the scoreboard. It was, in large part, a credit to the Mountaineers’ keeper Sarah Krokos. Kayla Fernandez scorched a 32-yard free kick that was sent over the crossbar by Krokos in the 36th minute.

In the two minutes prior Francis’ go-ahead goal, Sarina DeFinnis had two shots that were thwarted by the Dallas netminder. In the 57th, Emily Ouimet lofted a cross pass right in front of the goal line. DeFinnis’ header was routinely secured by Krokos at close range.

“We outplayed them, outshot them,” Berwick coach Paul DiPippa said. “The goalie made some nice saves but the bottom line is that we didn’t finish. We’ve been working and working on it. Hopefully, as the season moves on, we start finishing some goals because we’re outplaying teams.”

Krokos finished with nine saves. Berwick keeper Jayden Mitchell had four stops.

Hazleton Area 5, Pittston Area 1

Kyra Antolick scored three times in the second half as the Cougars closed out the victory.

Camila Aria and Katelyn Beiler scored in first half for Hazleton Area. Rhiannon Owkiewski scored for the Patriots.

Northern Lehigh 6, Holy Redeemer 2

Carly Cavanaugh and Kalie Quaglia scored for the Royals in the second half of a non-conference loss to Northern Lehigh.

Wyoming Sem 4, Meyers 3, 2 OT

Emily Matthews scored her fourth goal of the game in the second overtime, lifting the Blue Knights over the Mohawks.

Matthews hit her third goal in the 71st minute to tie the game and force the overtime period. She also scored the first two goals of the game to give Sem a 2-0 lead before the Blue Knights were forced to rally.

Hayley Krasnavage scored twice for Meyers and Ashley Bruno gave the Mohawks a 3-2 lead with a goal for the Mohawks in the 68th minute.

Crestwood 8, Nanticoke 0

Melissa Herrera had a hat trick, Chyanne Cook scored twice and added an assist and the Comets cruised past the Trojanettes.

Dallas 3, Berwick 0



Second half — 1. DAL, Ali Francis (Megan MacNeely), 58th minute; 2. DAL, Emma Sweitzer (Francis), 59th; 3. DAL, Sweitzer, 78th.

Shots — BER 15; DAL 7. Saves — BER 4 (Jayden Michael); DAL 9 (Sarah Krokos). Corner kicks — BER 3; DAL 4.

Hazleton Area 5, Pittston Area 1

Hazleton Area`2`3 — 5

Pittston Area`0`1 — 1

First half — 1. HAZ, Camila Aria, 21:47; 2. HAZ, Katelyn Beiler (Josie Middleton), 13:21. Second half — 3. HAZ, Kyra Antolick, 39:30; 4. HAZ, Antolick, 18:02; 5. HAZ, Antolick (Middleton), 8:15; 6. PA, Rhiannon Owkiewski, 5:13.

Shots — HAZ 11; PA 24. Saves — HAZ 18 (Caitlyn Katchur); PA 6 (Alysha Smigiel, Caroline Wesp). Corner kicks — HAZ 3; PA 9.

Wyoming Sem 4, Meyers 3

Wyoming Sem`2`2 — 4

Meyers`1`2 — 3

First half — 1. SEM, Emily Matthews, 21:56; 2. SEM, Matthews, 25:36; 3. MEY, Hayley Krasnavage (Ashley Bruno), 31:12. Second half — 4. MEY, Krasnavage (Lydia McFarlane), 50:34;5. MEY, Bruno (Sara Morris), 67:22; 6. SEM, Matthews, 71:30. 2nd overtime — 7. SEM, Matthews.

Shots — SEM 15; MEY 14. Saves — SEM 13 (Julia Iskra); MEY 12 (Emma Barker). Corner kicks — SEM 1; MEY 4.

Crestwood 8, Nanticoke Area 0

Nanticoke Area`0`0 — 0

Crestwood`3`5 — 8

First half — 1. CRE, Meg Sypniewski; 2. CRE, Melissa Herrera; 3. CRE, Allie Stover. Second half — 4. CRE, Herrera (Stover); 5. CRE, Nicole Joseph (Hannah Kresge); 6. CRE, Herrera; 7. CRE, Chyanne Cook; 8. CRE, Stover.

Shots — NAN 2; CRE 37. Saves — NAN 20 (Kaleah Moran); CRE 1 (Cortney Dushanko). Corner kicks — NAN 1; CRE 3.

Mountaineers score three times in second half, blank Berwick

By Jay Monahan

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports