Girls Soccer ends great season with heartbreaking loss

Jackson Sandusky, Staff Writer

The Upper St. Clair girls’ soccer team was eliminated in the WPIAL playoffs this year, but the Lady Panthers still had a season to remember.

The Panthers finished the regular season with a conference record of 10-­0­-2 and an overall record of 12-­3­-5. One of their better records in the last ten years, the team’s performance earned them a section title. Seniors Heather Godwin, Sami Lackner, Katie Torkos, Rachel Krackoff, Bailey Mielcusny, Mckenzie Shaffer, Brianna Erdman, Taylor Smith, Sarah McMurty, and Julia De La Parra, provided a solid upper class lineup for the Panthers for a team that will not soon be forgotten.

Junior captain, Emma Hasco, outlined the points of emphasis for the team’s post-season play: “Keep the ball on the ground and play aggressive.”

The Lady Panthers motto “…passionate, relentless, and dedicated” was clearly embodied in their section championship. “Shock the nation” Hasco said when asked what their goals were. The panthers certainly did just that.

Sadly, the Panthers lost arguably the most controversial game in Upper St. Clair since North Allegheny won the WPIAL championship on a botched touchdown call.

The Panthers trailed Penn Trafford 0­-1 in the second half when senior Brianna Erdman scored the tying goal. The clutch strike came with 1:14 left to play in the second half, and when time expired, the game went into a fifteen minute overtime. This is where it gets controversial.

With less than a minute left in overtime, the ball was hurriedly inbounded as both teams frantically tried to score before time ran out. Several USC and Penn Trafford players played the inbound.

What they didn’t know was that there was another ball in play. Yep, that’s right. There were two balls in play. Penn Trafford’s Maggie Mastrogiacomo took advantage of the opportunity and scored with 41.9 seconds left to play to take the 2-­1 lead. An uproar was released from the fans in the stands, who were disgusted by the referees.

Fans clearly felt bad for the Lady Panthers’ after their season ended. Losing a playoff game is one thing, but ending a season because of an obvious mistake by the referees is another.

Head coach Natasha Dirda said, “We’re very happy with the regular season…. very happy with the team winning the section title.” It’s too bad that their season had to end in the fashion that it did.