by Tom Utescher
Scoring twice in each half last Saturday in a girls’ soccer encounter with neighborhood rival Germantown Friends, Penn Charter logged a 4-0 victory that lifted the Quakers’ record to 2-0 in the young season. GFS (0-2) had previously engaged in a much closer clash with another Inter-Ac League School, getting edged in overtime by Agnes Irwin.
The PC victory against the Tigers over the weekend was not a shock to those who know a bit about the nature of these two ballclubs as they delve into the 2013 season.
GFS has a team comprised almost entirely of three-sport athletes, and few have much of a club soccer background beyond basic grade school ball. While Charter, too, has a number of players who participate in more than one school sport, the Quakers also field many widely experienced travel team veterans who have soccer in their blood.
Penn Charter officially opened its 2013 campaign at home on the Friday before Labor Day, recording a 6-1 victory over Pennington School, a respected South Jersey franchise. Germantown Friends made its debut on the same afternoon, hosting Irwin and losing in OT, 3-2.
A marker by junior Taryn Milbourne had the Tigers even with the Owls at halftime, 1-1, and after Irwin went ahead in the second period sophomore Sarah Walker converted a penalty kick to tie the match once more. Irwin got the gamewinner about three minutes into overtime.
After literally strolling down School House Lane to Penn Charter last Saturday morning, the Tigers took the play to PC at the outset of the match, but the opening shot by junior Emma Wagner went wide to the left of the Quakers’ cage and freshman goalie Mireyah Davis (three saves).
PC was soon knocking at the door at the other end of the pitch, though. A little over a dozen minutes into the action, Charter got on the board when sophomore Jlon Flippens scored from in front of the left side of the goal, converting off of a cross from along the right endline by Giovanna DeMarco. DeMarco, only an eighth-grader, was involved in all four of the Quakers’ scoring plays. The youngster made another centering pass from the right, this one expertly placed, to set up PC’s second goal, which was scored from just beyond the left post by sophomore Ayanna Matthews with 18:50 remaining in the first half.
GFS held the line after that and the count was still 2-0 at halftime. Tigers goalie Caroline Myran (six saves), a senior veteran, denied the Quakers a third goal with nine minutes left in the opening period, tipping an outside shot by Flippens over the crossbar.
A quick goal would’ve had the Tigers right back in the game, but it was the Quakers who remained on the attack as the second period got underway. Germantown had trouble getting much going at the other end, and whenever the visitors started to apply pressure, it seemed that PC seniors Steph Soroka and Kristina Kubach were on the scene to counter the threat.
Eight minutes into the new period PC went up 3-0. Senior Lauren Dimes fired from the left side of the box and the Tigers’ Myran got a piece of the ball to send it rolling out just past the far post, but DeMarco was in position on the weak side to jab the ball back across into the net.
The lights on the Penn Charter scoreboard blinked off occasionally during the last phase of the match, but it could be determined that there were roughly 22 minutes to go when the Quakers acquired their final goal. Myran blocked a shot on net by DeMarco, but the ball rolled loose and Flippens was there to tap in the rebound. The GFS keeper prevented a fifth Charter goal later on, making a tough stop on a blast by Dimes.
“After playing some of these tough non-league games, I think we’ll be ready for whatever the Friends League throws at us,” said second-year GFS coach Adrian Cox. “Penn Charter’s got a talented team, and that eighth-grader was definitely a difference-maker.”