By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
HAMBURG -- There's a good chance that even now, Southern Columbia may not have come down from the high of Tuesday's PIAA Class A state tournament first-round win. And really, you can't blame the Tigers if they're still amped.
From a three-goal deficit to a 5-3 win thanks to a remarkable goal rally in the second half, Southern coach Derek Stine summed it up best after the game: "That was amazing. ... I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. To come back from a 3-0 deficit and go 5-3? I think that was amazing. The girls worked unbelievably hard for that game."
But Stine and his Tigers know they can't keep celebrating. There's more work to be done, and the focus shifts to Saturday's Class A quarterfinal game against Halifax (21-1) at Hamburg H.S. at noon.
Halifax has a handful of talented players capable of scoring, including Krissy Kelley (24 goals, 18 assists), Rylee Gonsar (11), Kayla Kelley (21, 8) and Kylee Sorichetti (8).
While those four can spread the ball and cause matchup problems, Southern Columbia's defense is more than capable of handling the task at hand.
The Tigers' midfield, defensive backs and goalies have been solid all year, recording an area-best 12 shutouts -- second only to Warrior Run's 13 -- and have allowed just 15 goals through 22 games, three of which came Tuesday.
And as the first round proved, there's no lead you can consider safe against Southern.
"It just shows that we don't back down and we're so determined and we're just going to try our hardest," Southern Columbia junior Aly Stavinski said after Tuesday's exciting win.
The Tigers have an extremely potent offense with seniors Bailey Bzdak and Mackenzie Clark, who have combined for 41 goals this year, in addition to sophomore Haley Levan, who has scored 11.