Coming into the Montoursville/Trinity first-round state playoff game, the fans, players and coaches of Montoursville were not prepared for the offensive explosion they were about to witness from the Lady Shamrocks.
Trinity's offense amounted 14 shots on goal and five goals from five players as it defeated Montoursville, 5-0, in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs Tuesday night at Loyalsock.
Trinity will move on to play Scranton Prep, an 8-3 winner over Blue Mountain, on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Montoursville’s Nicole Weisser, left, and Trinity’s Ashley Mahaffey battle for position and the ball during Tuesday’s PIAA Class AA first-round game at Loyalsock. Trinity won the game, 5-0.
Ali Basom started the scoring after receiving a great cross from Micaela Oliverio at 19:44. Savannah Schultz scored 20 minutes later off a scrum near the goal line.
The second half was when the Trinity offense really clicked as it had 13 shots in the second half. It didn't take long for the goals to start coming in the second half as Addy Fitzgerald found Ashley Mahaffey in the front of the goal to make it 3-0. Oliverio scored 19 minutes later from 28 yards out as she averted two Montoursville defenders. The final goal came off the foot of Fitzgerald as she had a beautiful shot from 35 yards out on a free kick in the 70th minute.
Trinity's offense is predicated on short passes and ball control and it was on full display Tuesday night.
"That's what we play, we play possession," said Trinity coach Terry Mull. "That's the way we played all year."
Mahaffey, a junior midfielder, was injured early in the game but she came back with even more aggression and more hustle as she scored Trinity's third goal.
Trinity's best player on the field wasn't an offensive player, but a middle defensive back - Miranda Rogliano - who held a dangerous Montoursville offense to just one shot on goal.
Rogliano credits confidence for the play of her teams defense.
"To just have the support of the entire defense and to know that we played confidently for the season and we look forward to having competition in the future," said Rogliano.
Rogliano was caught in one-on-one situations many times with Montoursville offensive players and time after time she came up big.
Montoursville played well in defeat, but Trinity was just too good. Kirsten O'Malley was everywhere, Carly Mill was trying to make things happen on offense, Lauren Walker was great on defense and Jordynne Harvey played well in the midfield. Marissa Folk also played well with eight saves in the loss.
"The best team we've seen all year by a country mile," Montoursville coach Adam Scheibeler said. "I think we struggled to deal with a team that actually kept the ball. The way that they retained possession, we haven't seen that all year."
Montoursville had a couple of good scoring opportunities, but couldn't convert and rattle the Shamrocks. The Warriors, who won the District 4 title on Saturday, had a few great shots, a couple of them right in front of the goal but none ended in the back of the net.
McKenzie Ruffing, Walker, Alexis Weisser and Alyssa Harlacher are the seniors on the team and they all played a great final game for the Lady Warriors.
"We had a great year," Scheibeler said. "Obviously to win districts was great for the seniors and I mean they all contributed in their own way. I'm definitely going to miss them next year, really proud of them and everything they've accomplished this year."
T - Ali Basom (Micaela Oliverio), 19:44; T - Savannah Schultz, 38:54; T - Ashley Mahaffey (Addy Fitzgerald), 46:46; T - Oliverio, 65:05; T - Fitzgerald, 70:56.
Shots on goal: T- 14; M- 1. Corners: T- 3; M- 2. Saves: T- 1. M- 8. Goalies: Trinity (Mary Stephens, Amanda Knaub); Montoursville (Marissa Folk)
Records: Montoursville (19-3-1) Next: Trinity vs. Scranton Prep, Sat. time and place TBA