Girls Soccer Playoff Preview

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Photo courtesy of Aaron Vance

Junior Eliza Vance moves the ball toward the Bellefonte goal in Tyrone’s 5-0 shutout of Bellefonte earlier this season.

The Tyrone Lady Eagles girls soccer team opens the District 6 playoffs against Bellefonte at Tiger Stadium in Hollidaysburg on Monday, November 1 at 5:30 pm.

If the Lady Eagles can take down Bellefonte and Hollidaysburg, the other two teams in the D6 AAA bracket, they will be district champions.

It will take a total team effort, but according to Tyrone Head Coach Mike Sparacino, both are winnable matches for the Lady Eagles.

We will need to focus on doing all the little things right and take better advantage of our opportunities to score”

— Head Coach Mike Sparacino

“The team has really played well despite all the injuries and illnesses,” said Sparacino, “We will need to focus on doing all the little things right and take better advantage of our opportunities to score.”

All three playoff teams all played each other in the regular season, so they are all familiar with each other.  Tyrone posted a 1-3 record against Bellefonte and Hollidaysburg.

Tyrone and Bellefonte played twice in the regular season, with Tyrone shutting out the Red Raiders 5-0 in their first meeting, but losing 2-1 in the second.

In the first game on September 28th, Tyrone keeper Rayann Walls had a shutout and made four saves. Juniors Chloe LaRosa and Eliza Vance both scored two goals. Junior Avalyn Moore also scored a goal and had an assist while LaRosa and Bellwood senior Sophia Nelson both added assists.

“I feel like we really came together as a team in this game and it really showed our improvement through the season,” said Vance about the 5-0 win over Bellefonte.

The girls played Bellefonte a second time on October 20 and lost 2-1 in a well-fought game.

The difference in the second game was likely the fact that Tyrone was at a disadvantage with several key players quarantined or injured.

In the loss, Tyrone was without starting forward Chloe LaRosa, forward/attacking mid Lexi Hess, defenseman Natalie Saltsgiver, and was also without forward/attacking mid Annie Bardell for half the game with an ankle injury.

With the exception of LaRosa, who is out for the season, Tyrone will have most of their team back and ready to play. However, two players, Alyson Partner and Olivia Ewing, will be out Monday due to COVID quarantine.

The winner of the Tyrone-Bellefonte match will meet Hollidaysburg for the district championship.

While Tyrone lost to Hollidaysburg twice in the regular season, one of the two matches was very competitive and Tyrone was without several starters in the other.

The first match of the season with Hollidaysburg was a 5-0 loss, but Tyrone was missing many players due to COVID quarantine.

The second meeting was also a win for the Lady Tigers, but it was a much closer 2-0 match.

That game went scoreless for most of the first half until Hollidaysburg scored late on a rebound shot that bounced off one of Tyrone’s defenders and Hollidaysburg’s Lizzie Johnson followed the rebound and shot into the bottom corner of the net.  The second goal for the Tigers came very late in the match’s final minutes.