Following a tough loss in the Colonial League quarterfinals earlier this month, the Saucon Valley Girls soccer team (10-9-0) lost to the Spartans of Southern Lehigh (15-6-2) in the PIAA District XI quarterfinal Wednesday at neutral Palisades Pirates Stadium.
Playing with intensity and composure from the first whistle until the last, the Panthers mounted a commensurate contest in the first half and the score at halftime remained 0-0. Precise passes, rigorous runs and defensive deterrents were dealt by both sides in the second half until Southern Lehigh was able to slip one in with 20:00 left to play. Fast breaks and free kicks weren’t enough for Saucon Valley to garner enough possession to find the net and the final score was a 0-1. The 2018 District XI semifinal, featuring these same two teams, was also decided by a single goal, with the Panthers also coming up just short at 1-2.
“The girls played with a lot of heart and battled till the very end. I am proud of how hard we made Southern Lehigh work for the victory. I am heartbroken not because we lost but because the season is over. We wish our seniors the very best in their future endeavors,”said Head Coach Stevie Ochse of the matchup. Ochse announced her retirement from coaching following the the final regular season game in mid October. The team is planning a festive sendoff for her during their year-end party in December.
The Lady Panthers concluded their season with a well-earned winning record and the Spartans advanced to the district semifinals to play top-seeded Pottsville in the district championship game on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at a time and site to be determined. Pottsville beat Blue Mountain 3-1 in the other quarterfinal game.
Saucon Source would like to extend special thanks to Andrew and Sonya Hughes for their ongoing support of our coverage of Saucon Valley girls athletics with their sponsorship of some of this season’s girls soccer coverage and content.