ERIE — Everyone on the Fairview side, it seems, was doing whatever it took to get ready for the District 10 girls soccer playoffs.
That includes Wyatt James Foriska, the son of Tigers head coach Lyndsay Foriska, who was born this past Wednesday.
“Our due date was Friday, Halloween,” said the Tigers coach. “So, he came a little bit early. And that’s what the girls wanted, because they wanted me back and ready for the playoffs.
It’s all about the playoffs.
“Yeah,” said coach Foriska, “yeah, yeah.”
And Fairview’s playoff venture continues after the Tigers notched a 4-1 victory over Region 3 foe Cambridge Springs during a Class A semifinal showdown on Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers — now 18-1-0 on the year — move on to the D-10 championship game. They will take on Wilmington, which beat North East yesterday 3-0 in a game that was called in the second half due to weather. A site and time for the title matchup will be announced later.
Cambridge Springs, meanwhile, ends its season with a record of 13-6-0, setting a new record for wins in a season by the Devils girls soccer program.
“I’m really proud of them,” said Spa head coach Geoff Bristow. “We came and we played really hard. Obviously, Fairview has a lot of talent. We have a lot of heart and determination. And we fought them hard. Boy, we fought them hard.”
So hard, in fact, that Fairview, which had beaten Cambridge twice already this season, had some cause for concern at the half.
“At halftime,” said Foriska, “the conversation was, ‘We’re a good soccer team. But we could lose this game if we don’t want to fight, if we don’t work for it.’ (Cambridge Springs) was out-working us in the first half.”
Cambridge might have been working harder. But it was Fairview scoring more goals in the first half.
The Lady Tigers got on the board three and a half minutes in when Jordyn Sanner took a ‘why not?’ shot from 30-plus yards away. And the ball hooked away from Spa goalie Savannah Risjan and inside the right post to make it 1-0.
Cambridge Springs fought right back, however, making a couple fly-bys on Fairview’s goal, only to be turned away by Tigers keeper Shay Tresler.
Finally, the Lady Blue Devils got the opportunity they were looking for when Marissa Cormier delivered a long forward pass to turbo forward Taylor Babb, who got loose behind the defense and kicked the ball past Tresler from 15 yards away, knotting the score at 1-1.
A tight game was breaking out. And it remained that way for much of the first half as the two sides battled at midfield.
Then with 3:52 left a fluke changed the momentum in Fairview’s favor. The Tigers’ Andrea McGee hit a slow-roller towards goal. Risjan got on top of it. But the ball slipped through her arms, slipped through her legs, and crossed the goal line to make it 2-1 Tigers.
“Our strategy was, it’s raining, I told them before the game, ‘No shots,’” Bristow said. “Because it’s hard enough for the keeper as it is. Now you add the rain and it’s easy for something to scoot through. And it did. And that really changed the momentum of the game.”
Then came the half. And Fairview’s pep talk at the break must have worked, as the Tigers spent most of the second half in Cambridge Springs’ end.
Spa’s replacement goalie Brenna Digiacomo had a busy evening, but put forth an outstanding effort, making 13 saves. But Fairview was able to get two more past her.
With 16:45 to play, Fairview’s Maya Fanazini took a corner kick out of the right corner. The ball popped out. A Fairview played kicked the rebound off the crossbar. But Megan McWilliams was there to head in the third chance, making it 3-1.
Then with 29 seconds left, McGee tallied her second of the day with a 20-yarder into the upper left corner.