by Tom Utescher
Two Germantown Friends girls sports squads travelled out the turnpike to Mercersburg Academy last Tuesday, and on the way home from their opening round games in the Pa. Independent Schools tournament the ride seemed a little shorter for the Tigers’ soccer players than for their field hockey counterparts.
The GFS booters made a first-half goal stand up for a 1-0 victory that moved them into the next round of the tourney, while the sticksters were shaded, 3-2, by the host Blue Storm, and ended their season with an overall mark of 13-8.
A pair of close contests had been anticipated, since in both sports, Mercersburg was the eighth seed for the tournament and GFS was number nine.
“It was almost a three-hour bus ride out there,” said soccer head coach Adrian Cox, “but we got the result we wanted, so we enjoyed the trip home.”
The Tigers (8-5-3 overall) scored what would be the game’s only goal in the middle of the first half. On a corner kick from the right side, Emma Wagner served the ball inside to the near post for her junior classmate, Taryn Millbourne, who volleyed a shot into the corner of the cage.
After that, Cox related, “We kept up the attack a lot of the time, and that helped preserve the lead. We generated a lot of offense and we had 15 or 16 shots on goal. Sarah Walker, Greta Meyer, and Sophia Linguiti were in their box a lot giving them problems and we came close to adding an insurance goal a couple times, but we couldn’t quite get it.”
Walker is a sophomore, and Meyer and Linguiti are juniors.
The Mercersburg Blue Storm did spent some time in Germantown’s half of the field, but as Cox explained, “They tried to play the long ball over top, but our back four and Caroline Myran were just handling every ball that came in at them. Mercersburg didn’t get a lot of quality chances; a lot of their shots were from distance and we took care of them pretty easily.”
Myran, a senior, finished with six saves, recording her eighth shutout of the 2013 campaign.
The victory advanced GFS into a quarterfinal match against top-seeded Agnes Irwin, which was slated to host the evening match at Radnor Memorial Park.
“The girls were very happy to get past the first round,” Cox said, “and they’re excited to be playing the next game under the lights on a turf field.”
In the All-Friends Schools League voting, Myran, Walker, and senior Rachel Allison were named to the first team, and junior Grayson Melby received honorable mention.
There was also a close contest in field hockey at Mercersburg last week, but this one didn’t turn out in the Tigers’ favor. Just as it looked like the two teams were going to arrive at halftime with the score still 0-0, the final minute of the opening period brought goals by the Blue Storm’s Paige Richardson and Meg Peterson, both seniors.
That definitely gave GFS something to talk about during the halftime huddle, and the visitors responded well as the second half began. They were back even at 2-2 with just nine minutes elapsed, receiving goals from sophomore Carmen Turner and senior Sydney Weigert.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Mercersburg drove a ball inside and had junior Titi Purnell in place for the tip-in, and this time the Tigers couldn’t come up with the equalizer.
The Tigers’ all-league picks for field hockey were Weigert, fellow seniors Maddie Andrews and Katharine Cusick, and junior Sarah Kane, with honorable mention going to freshman Samantha Bruttomesso-Clarke.