OLEAN, N.Y. — Make it two in a row, albeit under different circumstances this time, for the Pennsylvania girls at the NY/PA Corporate Cup Soccer Showcase.
Pennsylvania won its second consecutive Corporate Cup girls trophy in the third year of the girls game (fourth for the contest overall), piling up 19 shots on goal en route to a 3-2 victory over New York Saturday night. The girls’ win gave Pennsy a clean sweep after it took the boys’ game, 4-1, earlier in the afternoon at Bradner Stadium.
“They were loose, they had fun, there were smiles all around,” said the winning head coach, Bradford’s Warren Shaw. “Even though we had a few times where we had some missteps, we did a little too much, that could be related to the time off. I think in general they were all in it together and the one thing is they were all out of shape. So the ability for them to go and hustle the way they did and hustle the way they did, and some of them play the minutes they did, it's impressive.”
Chanell Britten (Brockway), Madalene Cowburn (Bradford) and Kyleigh Wilson (Warren) scored the Pennsylvania girls’ goals. Emily Hatch (Fillmore) and Victoria Stuck (Bolivar-Richburg) scored for New York.
Britten gave Pennsy the game’s first lead nearly 23 minutes into the game, knocking a header past goalkeeper Haylee Jozwiak just moments after New York made its first substitution in net. New York tied it less than six minutes later, with Hatch burying a rebound after goalkeeper Britney Shaw (Bradford) made the initial save in a crowded box. But Cowburn had the answer, taking the lead for good with 12 minutes remaining in the half, 2-1.
Wilson gave Pennsy a two-goal cushion, 3-1, eight minutes into the second half, and it held on after Stuck put a shut in the top left corner to make it a one-goal game with 13 minutes remaining.
“Especially in a game like this, you don't normally play a game to hold on,” Shaw said. “In my opinion, you play to win and even if you're already winning, you still continue to play to win because it's funner for everybody and especially in a game like this you just want to have some fun with it. I think the girls themselves took it upon them to maybe drop back a little bit quicker than they were before, in general we're supposed to be defending in blocks anyways, (it was) sporadic for some of the game, but it got better at the end.
“(We had) quite a few shots. We found the keeper a lot. The keepers played a heck of a game, too.”
As his players controlled the game with passing and speed, Shaw passed all credit for the win on to the girls.
“To be honest, this had nothing to do with practice,” he said. “Coaches didn't have much to do with this game, these girls just came out and played. They had a blast. It was all about fun today.
“It wasn't just about playing, it was about being able to ping the ball around,” Shaw added. “That’s what soccer is, and just getting them up to speed and how we wanted to play. They all took to it, they all did well and if they stick with that type of stuff, they could all be very, very good players.”
Britten and New York goalkeeper Micheyla Williams (Olean) were named game MVPs. Kaylee Muccio (St. Marys) and Ada Sylvester (Fillmore) won the sportsmanship awards.
Williams made nine saves and Jozwiak stopped seven shots for New York. Shaw marked six saves, playing all 90 minutes for Pennsy.
New York coach Dale MacArthur, of Allegany-Limestone, credited his goalkeepers.
“Both of our goalies did a really good job keeping us in it,” he said. “There were so many things that we weren't doing well that we worked on, but we didn't have a chance to work on it now. It's just a matter of we were opportunistic a couple of times and just managed to keep it close. When the second one went in, we were kind of hoping we'll move some things around a little bit now because it's now or never, and see if we can get one more break through there. But we couldn't do it. Credit to them, they played good defense and they deserved to win the game.
“They were skilled on the ball,” MacArthur added of Pennsy. “Their passes were nice. They're a good passing team and they went hard to the ball, which we addressed at halftime. They were winning all the 50-50 balls and they really just played hard. They're good players and they played hard and they've got a lot of speed.”
This was MacArthur’s second time leading the New York girls squad, having coached the inaugural girls game in 2018. After finally playing a game originally scheduled for mid-May, MacArthur left the field impressed with founders Kris Linderman and Dave Talbot for navigating the challenges of COVID-19 to hold a competitive soccer game.
“I marvel at Kris and Dave's efforts,” MacArthur said. “The amount of work that they put into this is so far beyond expectations that it's just amazing what they do. They do it for the kids, they do it for the love of the game and it's a great venue. It's too bad that the fans that really wanted to see it couldn't come and watch it, but we're all in this mess together and it's just the way it had to be this year. I thought they did a great job of persevering through all of that stuff to get this to actually finally happen.”