Section champs yet again

Girls Soccer rolls through rest of season despite historic loss


Jessica Majors

Junior Renae Mohrbacher powers past a defender as the Bulldogs defeat the Mohawk Warriors on Oct. 13.

Coming into the month of October, the girls soccer team was on a major hot streak. They were undefeated in the six games they had played in September. Unfortunately, the girls had a small COVID-19 outbreak on the team, which sidelined them until Oct. 5. When the girls returned, it looked as if no one could stop them from another section title.

October also brought a devastating loss to the Lady Bulldogs: a loss that would break their massive section game winning streak. However, the girls had many victories before and after that loss.

The team looked to kick off their October games with a win against Neshannock on Oct. 5. However, Neshannock forfeited the game; this still gave the girls a victory by default.

On Oct. 7, the girls returned to the field in a close game against Riverside. Ultimately, the Lady Bulldogs prevailed with a 4-3 win in an intense section game. Freshman Shaye Bailey led the team in scoring with two goals. 

Freshmen, like Bailey, have really stepped up for the team after the loss of the seniors from the previous year. The team lost key seniors Sydney Cook, Jaylnn Falk, Myah Hrinko and Morgan Swab after last season. This meant that new players had to fill the void left behind by the seniors.

“The freshmen have stepped up on the team by stepping into the starting roles that a few of them had to take. They’ve really worked well with the girls on the field and done a great job in taking responsibility and working hard,” junior Renae Mohrbacher said. 

“[Madison] Maddy Meyer does very well at controlling the midfield, as well as Morgan Keller. Shaye Bailey has also stepped up as our forward to get us a lot of goals this season,” sophomore Jersee Melvin said.

The girls looked to continue their winning streak in a game against South Side Beaver on Oct. 8. The Lady Bulldogs dominated the game with a 5-0 win, with sophomore Julia Mohrbacher scoring a hat trick.

The game on Oct. 12 was their toughest game yet. They played Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH), the second overall team in their section. Last time the two teams played, Freedom won 2-1 in a double overtime thriller. 

Unfortunately, this time OLSH got the better of them winning the game 4-2. Unfortunately, this broke the Lady Bulldogs’ 68-game section winning streak, which took place over a span of five years.

“The game was really upsetting. They are always our biggest competition and losing to them was disappointing. We should have won because I don’t think they are a better team than us. But in the moment, they just wanted it more,” Julia Mohrbacher said.

The girls looked to bounce back from that disappointing loss in a game against Mohawk on Oct. 13. The team fought until the very end to win the game 5-1. Renae Mohbacher and Bailey led the team with two goals a piece. 

In a non-section game on Oct. 15, the team looked to defeat Beaver. Sadly, the Lady Bulldogs lost 2-1 in the close game. 

Finally, on Oct. 19, the girls needed to beat Hopewell in order to clinch the section title. Bailey and sophomore Finley Paxton both scored two goals to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 6-2 victory.

With their last regular season section win and a 9-1 record, the girls soccer team clinched their sixth consecutive section title.

“Knowing that we almost didn’t have a season because of the pandemic, it felt great to be able to play all the way through and win the section,” Keller said.

The Lady Bulldogs’ first playoff match is set against Eden Christian Academy on Oct. 24 at Bulldogs Stadium. With their great regular-season record, there are some high expectations for the upcoming playoffs.

“Every player should be eager to play and win the WPIAL [Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League] championship and the state championship, so that’s what I want and expect our team to do,” Melvin said.

“We want to make it pretty far, and we need to focus so that we can get the job done,” Renae Mohrbacher said.