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Girls lose in OT Owen J. Roberts

Dennis Weller | PA Prep Live

MECHANICSBURG – This was the same point in the season and the exact same location where the Owen J. Roberts girls soccer season came to an end last year. But the Wildcats have learned a few things since then.

Some of those lessons have been learned the hard way during six losses coming into the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals on Saturday. But all of them were put to good use this time around as OJR advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2017 with a 2-1 overtime win over Peters Township at Eagle View Middle School.

The Wildcats (19-6) will play Central Dauphin, a 2-1 winner over North Allegheny, on Tuesday at a time and place to be determined.

Neshaminy (2-1 overtime winner against Conestoga) and Pennridge (5-0 winner over Central Bucks West) will play in the other semifinal. The championship match will be back at Eagle View Middle School on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Alexa Vogelman scored her second goal of the day and 100th of her career with 4:31 remaining in the first 15-minute overtime to give the Wildcats the win. Brooke Opferman scored for the Indians (15-3-3).

“I think moving into the semifinals, we just worked hard all season,” said senior forward Vogelman, who needs one more goal to tie the team’s all-time career record. “And the coaches made a really hard schedule for us. We’ve had some losses. We’ve lost some in overtime. But those games prepared us for this moment.”

Vogelman knocked in the game-winner as she stormed toward the goal from the right wing.

“Olivia Thompson had a great through ball,” she said. “We talked about playing diagonal passes. Olivia’s through ball couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Vogelman scored her first late in a back-and-forth first half. The Indians’ Bella Spergel put a shot on goal just two minutes into the match, but OJR goalkeeper Colby Wasson made the save. Then Meryn Primanti put a long, hard shot down the middle a few minutes later for the Wildcats, but Peters Township keeper Molly Kubistek went up and got a hand on it and the ball hit off the crossbar.

Roberts put extended pressure on the Indian defense for several minutes late in the half, resulting in a goal with just 1:15 remaining. Vogelman and Kubistek went after a loose ball and the Indian goalie tipped it into the air and could not get back into position before Vogelman knocked in a header while facing away from the goal.

“The ball took a nice spin,” said Vogelman. “It was good team pressure and I was able to get a touch and put it in.”

Peters Township, the runner-up from District 7 and 2-0 winner over Erie McDowell in the opening round, tied it 10 minutes into the second half after being awarded a free kick not too far outside the box due to a hand ball by the Wildcats. Opferman cashed in on the opportunity by blasting a kick over the OJR wall high into the net.

Other than that, the Roberts defense was solid all day as Wasson was called upon to make only two saves, despite the fact that the Indians had a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks for the match.

“Just the way we communicated,” said Wildcat junior center back Sabrina Marks. “We shut them down well. From the front to the back and the goalkeeper. All it is is communicating and working together.”

Last year, the Wildcats lost 1-0 in the quarterfinals to Moon Area, which went on to a 2-0 win over Conestoga in the final.

The Wildcats, the sixth-place team from District 1, had knocked out undefeated Manheim Township 1-0 in the first round.

“We were here in the quarterfinals at this exact same field last year,” said Marks. “It took a lot of grit to get through the quarterfinals. We beat probably two of the best teams in the state.”

Published On: November 12, 2022Categories: 2022 SeasonTags: ,