Meadville Tribune

Sports

November 7, 2013

NCAC SOCCER: Allegheny blanks Tigers to reach NCAC final

MEADVILLE — For the better part of Wednesday afternoon’s North Coast Athletic Conference championship playoff semifinal between DePauw and Allegheny, it appeared as if the Lady Gators were playing with an extra player on the field.

That’s not to say that Allegheny was sneaking players on the pitch when DePauw wasn’t looking. The Gators were simply that dominating.

A pair of first half goals from Jessie Thiessen were more than enough for top-seeded Allegheny as the Gators disposed of the fourth-seeded Tigers 2-0 at the Robertson Athletic Complex, advancing to the conference championship game Saturday in the process.

The Gators play the No. 2 seed Wittenberg at 11 a.m. Saturday. Allegheny and Witt played to a 1-1 tie in their only meeting this season back on Nov. 2.

The win was big for Allegheny (10-5-1) for multiple reasons. Naturally the victory keeps the season alive, and puts the Gators one win away from an automatic NCAA Division III national playoff berth. It was also a bit of redemption against a DePauw (10-9) squad that squashed a six-game winning streak on Oct. 26.

Allegheny wanted this one.

“We definitely have a history with this team, and we wanted to come out an redeem ourselves,” Thiessen said. “We believed we could have won the last game with (DePauw), and wanted to prove that, and I think we did today.”

Swift ball movement and countless chances on the offensive end allowed the majority of Wednesday’s match to be played in the Tigers’ end of the field. The first 10 minutes of the contest were relatively even, but once the Gators settled in, it was clear that DePauw was in a lot of trouble.

“I was really pleased today,” Allegheny head coach Michael Webber said. “We had a lot of opportunities in our loss to them last time. This time, we came out, possessed the ball and played controlled. We looked for the seams, and Jessie had an incredible game.”

Just over 15 minutes into the game, Thiessen scored her first goal of the game, following a sharp pass from Greta Hilbrands. Thiessen gained possession at the top of the box on the right side, made a quick move to the net and beat Tigers’ keeper Emma Cooper for a 1-0 lead.

The goal kept an already excited Gators team fired up, got a packed crowd on its feet, and gave Allegheny the all-important opening score.

“Today, it was huge, and we knew that,” Webber said of scoring the first goal. “It’s always important. We talked about how we had to be more aggressive early, and that created the opportunity.”

For Thiessen, the goal came at the perfect time, and on a move she has done countless times.

“We knew we had to come out quick. Our last game against them, it took us awhile to get going,” Thiessen said. “We had to be the first team to get one in. I just cut inside, took a shot wide post and it went in.”

Rather than sit back and play more defensive-minded soccer with the lead, the Gators continued to pressure DePauw, keeping the Tigers on their heels and moving in the wrong direction. Eight minutes after Thiessen’s goal, the freshman stuck a dagger in DePauw, finding a loose ball in the box and drilling it past the keeper inside the right post to make it a two-goal advantage.

The constant pressure led to the goal as the Tigers couldn’t maintain possession in their own end of the field.

“We have watched the improvement all year, and the team has bought in,” Webber said. “I think they like this style of soccer we’re playing, and you can see the improvement. We try to keep most of the players involved, which can be tough with 23 players. But we’re getting 18 and 19 players in, and that keeps them going.”

Allegheny picked up right where it left of in the second half, looking even more dominant despite DePauw trying to be more aggressive down two goals. As a team, the Gators’ defense was suffocating, allowing just three shots on goal the entire game. Allegheny took 22 shots, with 11 of those finding the net.

Gators’ keeper Gabby Curtis was rarely tested, stopping all three of DePauw’s shots. The shutout was the ninth of the season for Allegheny.

With a semifinal win behind them, the Gators now turn to Saturday as the entire team knows just what’s at stake.

“We’ve been saying all season that each game becomes more and more important,” Thiessen said. “We’re pretty excited to be moving on, and we’ll be ready.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Mitchell Wood FCV’s season comes to an end

    The end of an era.
    So it was with French Creek Valley dropping a 5-4 decision to Albion Post 567 in the Region 8 Tournament at Northwestern High School on Wednesday. For several key players, it was the last time they would put on the blue uniform for head coach Brandon Crum.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville falls to NA in Junior League state opener

    The Meadville Junior League All-Stars spent all baseball season perfecting the art of winning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rookie CB Gilbert signs with Browns

    Justin Gilbert’s got his contract with the Browns. Now he needs a starting job.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bills Camp Bills QB, coach differ on offense’s performance

    Bills quarterback EJ Manuel and coach Doug Marrone had widely conflicting assessments on how the offense performed on the third day of training camp.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV tops Cochranton to advance

    French Creek Valley kept its stay in the Pennsylvania Region 8 American Legion Tournament alive on Tuesday in impressive fashion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kinter and Neff Error-free defense, hitting propel District 1 to state title

    When Tom Brunot, Doug Hecker and Mark McKissock agreed about a month ago to take on a Senior League softball team they felt fairly confident in their team’s ability to defend its turf with a state championship on the line.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV falls to Millcreek

    It may go down as one of the oddest games in Region 8 history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Meadville captures Section 1 title over DuBois

    For anyone confused about all the fire truck sirens and honking car horns that echoed through the streets of Meadville around 5 p.m. on Sunday, here’s the explanation:

    July 22, 2014

  • District 1 showcases 'D' in victory

    A strong defense up the middle is often where championship teams are born. The District 1 Senior League softball team certainly fills the bill.

    July 22, 2014

  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Poll

The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks