Gettysburg bagged a goal late in each half and that provided the difference in the Warriors’ 2-0 triumph over visiting Conrad Weiser in the opening round of the District 3 Class 3A girls’ soccer tournament on a rainy Monday night at Warrior Stadium.
The victory moves third-seeded Gettysburg (13-3-2) into the quarterfinals where it will host No. 6 seed Red Land, a 2-1 victor over Fleetwood in another first round match on Monday. That quarter is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Gettysburg.
A berth in the quarterfinals matches the 2019 Gettysburg squad for the deepest postseason run in program history and a win on Thursday would punch the Warriors’ a ticket to the PIAA tournament for the first time ever.
“We’ve talked about how no group of girls at Gettysburg has put together as much effort to be successful as they have. They’ve been working together and playing together since they were very young,” Gettysburg head coach John Colgan said. “A win on Thursday would be making it to the next level for the program.”
Monday’s match was interrupted by a 50-minute weather delay at the 14:18 mark of the first half. To that point, neither team had managed a shot on goal or even much of a threat.
Both teams retreated to their respective locker rooms to wait out the delay.
“The only thing we really talked about was our energy level,” Colgan said of the discussion that took place during the delay. “We talked about playing more energetic soccer. We talked about moving the ball better and trying to play in their half of the field as much as possible.”
He continued, “We wanted to try to score as quickly as possible, because if a game gets called at any point in the second half it’s official, if one team is ahead.”
Gettysburg senior Maddy Gaydon had a go-at-goal that forced a diving deflection by Scout keeper Caitlin Williams for the first shot on goal by either side with 10:42 to play in the opening half.
Gaydon then broke the deadlock when she scored an unassisted marker after a failed clear by Williams with 5:25 to go until the break. Williams’ clear attempt was mishandled by a CW defender and it squirted to Gaydon, who popped it over a retreating Williams into the net from 35 yards away.
“Alivia (Colgan) did a great job of pressing their keeper and forcing the error,” Gaydon said. “When she tried to clear it, it went right to me. I noticed that she was way out of the net and I chipped it over her. I had to take my time to make sure that I didn’t shoot it over the net.”
Gettysburg carried that advantage into intermission and tried to double its lead when Autumn Oaster had a direct kick from deep on the left flank, but Williams turned it aside with 32:25 remaining in the match.
CW (8-9-1) senior Natalia Moll unleashed back-to-back shots with just under 25 minutes left that were both denied by Gettysburg backstop Lydia Floreck, the second of which resulted in a corner. That corner was handled and cleared away with ease by the Gettysburg defense.
“We knew a lot about (Moll) and we tried our best to keep the ball away from her,” John Colgan said. “She has a lot of speed and the film that we saw of them showed that she scored a lot of their goals.”
The Warriors held the precarious one-goal advantage into the late going when a foul gave Oaster a direct kick from 25 yards away in the center of the pitch. She struck a low shot and skipped it across the slippery turf multiple times, past Williams’ dive and into the back of the net with 3:59 to go.
“Autumn is an extremely smart player and she almost always makes the right decision,” John Colgan said. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she purposely hit that one on the ground.”
It was the Warriors’ ninth shutout of the campaign.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Conrad Weiser 0 0 — 0
Gettysburg 1 1 — 2
Goals: G-Maddy Gaydon, Autumn Oaster. Shots: CW-3; G-4. Corners: CW-3; G-7. Saves: CW-Caitlin Williams 2; G-Lydia Floreck 3