Trojans revenge in championship
For a while on Saturday the Parkland girls soccer team was the District 11 champ. But news quickly came that Nazareth would be allowed to play this week and the title once again was up for grabs.
The Trojans and Blue Eagles finally met for the district crown Tuesday at Whitehall and Parkland once again became champions with a 2-0 win over Nazareth in the Class 4A title game.
“We found out Saturday that it was canceled and they told us we were the district champions,” said Trojans senior Emma Schock, who scored one of her team’s goals in the title game. “When we found out we were playing it was a little chaotic.
“Being able to prove it on the field, I think we’re going to be stronger going into the state tournament.”
The Trojans got some long-awaited revenge with the win over Nazareth. The Eagles knocked the top-seeded Trojans out of last year’s tournament in the quarterfinal round. Because of the condensed schedules this season, the teams didn’t meet in the regular season.
Both teams entered districts undefeated. The Trojans were the top seed at 10-0. Nazareth was No. 2 at 11-0.
The Trojans posted three straight shut outs in districts, beating Northampton 3-0 and Easton 1-0 to reach the title game.
Parkland’s defense remained strong in the championship. Goal keeper Teresa Gonzalez only faced a couple shots as Parkland controlled possession for much of the contest.
The Trojans took the lead when Schock launched a shot from beyond the 18 that got over the head over the Nazareth goal keeper.
“I turned on the ball and I saw the open net and shot it with my left foot,” said Schock. “It had good height on it. The goalie is great, but she is a little bit shorter than most so I figured it was going to go right over her.”
Despite several Parkland corners in the first half, the game was still 1-0 at halftime.
Less than four minutes into the second half, senior Alex Marstellar gave her team a 2-0 lead with a shot from just in front of the goal.
“I’m almost positive Zuzu [Mohamed] won the ball after the goal kick,” said Marstellar. “She took it down the line and I remember looking around me a little bit. No one was near me and Zuzu was taking it down the line. One of the center backs stepped and I was just standing there. She got the ball to me and it was just a one-touch shot in the back of the net.”
The district title is Parkland’s fifth in the last six years. The Trojans won four straight before the Eagles upset them in last year’s tournament.
“It feels really awesome, especially because we lost to Nazareth last year in the quarterfinal” said Marstellar. “This year we wanted to play them and that was our main goal was to get to play Nazareth and get revenge on them for last year.”
This year’s title game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but COVID cases in the Nazareth School District caused its brief cancellation. By the end of the day Nazareth was cleared to play this week and the games were rescheduled.
“We were very happy because we wanted the game to be decided on the field,” said Marstellar. “Both teams would have rather had the game decided on field.”
Parkland advances to the state tournament to face District 4 champ Williamsport Saturday in a quarterfinal game.