Second-half goals push Parkland past Emmaus, 2-1
Emmaus girls soccer head coach Sarah Oswald stressed the importance of playing a full 80 minutes of solid soccer before Monday’s game against rival Parkland. Unfortunately, a 10-minute stretch was the deciding factor against the Trojans.
Parkland broke a scoreless game in the second half with two goals in the first six minutes from Brooke Schutter. That turned out to be the deciding factor in keeping the Trojans (13-0 overall; 12-0 in EPC) unbeaten with their second win over the Hornets (8-5-1, 8-3-1) this season.
“In the first match that we played them, we were very competitive in the first half,” Oswald said. “And then in the second half they just came right at us, and we were unprepared. We kind of knew that if we were able to get a goal in the first half, and put them under some pressure going into the second half, that it would be a little different than the first game.”
Emmaus certainly had its opportunities in the first half. However, the Hornets could not crack the back of the net on any of their four corner kicks.
The Hornets’ best opportunity came in the final six minutes of the half when Lil Schmitt ripped a shot on Parkland’s goal, only to see it sail a few feet high over the target.
“We tell them that opportunities against quality teams are going to come few and far between, and you have to find a way to put it in the back of the net,” Oswald said. “We haven’t quite been able to do that yet against quality teams in the first half. It’s something that we’re still going to have to work on going into the postseason.”
Parkland took advantage coming out of the break, and it didn’t take the state-ranked Trojans long to do so. Schutter first cleaned up a loose ball in front of Emmaus’ goal with a strike into the left side of the net, giving Parkland a 1-0 lead two minutes into the second half.
The Trojans struck again not even four minutes later. Michaela Cohick’s corner kick found Schutter in front of the Hornets’ goal, and Schutter ricocheted a ball off an Emmaus defender for a 2-0 advantage.
“Brooke is very hard to deal with, no matter where she is on the field,” Oswald said. “Any time Brooke can get going, everyone really feeds off of her. She was able to kind of carry that team and put a goal in the first couple minutes of the second half.”
Schutter then played the role of facilitator for the Trojans’ third and game-clinching goal. The Parkland senior placed a perfect ball up to Ava Hanna, who took a few dribbles, then ripped a strike into the back of the net.
Emmaus got on the scoreboard late with a goal from Maddie Fey to give the Hornets some life, but it was a little too late.
“We’ve been focusing a lot on how we want to attack and putting balls in dangerous places,” Oswald said. “That’s exactly what the kids did tonight.
“Parkland is a very organized defensive team, so we know any quality ball that is going to be in a dangerous spot is going to be hard to deal with.”