Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hopewell Shows Its Poise, Rallies to Earn Playoff Spo

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hopewell Shows Its Poise, Rallies to Earn Playoff Spo

Article excerpt

Their first win of the season did not come until the fourth game.

Still, there was no panic for the Hopewell girls' soccer team. The team is built around three four-year letterwinners.

The group was around last season when it started 1-4 and still reached the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs.

The group was also around in 2009 when it started 4-1-1 but missed the playoffs.

Two weeks does not make the season. The Vikings knew that.

They bounced back from an 0-1-2 start to win five of their next six games. Hopewell was 9-3-3 overall and 9-1-2 in Section 3-AA heading into its game Wednesday against Blackhawk.

Sitting behind Central Valley (11-0) and ahead of Quaker Valley (8-3), Hopewell was in second place in the section with one remaining section game at Central Valley in the regular-season finale.

Hopewell lost, 3-1, to Central Valley on Oct. 5 in a rescheduled game. The original game was postponed when lightning was seen during the junior varsity game.

"I thought we were really up for the originally scheduled game and maybe not so much for the rescheduled game," Hopewell coach Martin Byrnes said. "They are obviously a talented team, our school districts are right next to each other so we have been rivals. I think next time we will be up for the challenge."

Senior defender Nikki Baker, senior center midfielder Megan McMillen and senior forward Cassidy Marshall are all four-year letterwinners. Senior goalie Emily Faller and senior midfielders Angela Gurchak and Torre Uram also start. Faller and sophomore Kyra Honeywill split time in net, the duo has combined for nine wins this season and six shutouts.

Other sophomore contributors include forward Lauren Krawchyk and midfielder Stephanie Lias. Krawchyk led the team with 13 goals through 15 games and Lias was second with eight goals and eight assists.

Freshman center midfielder Abby Losco also had eight goals and she led the team with points thanks to her nine assists. …

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