By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
HAMBURG -- Senior midfielder Teanna Shutt more than knew how important it was to control the center of the field Saturday. Before the game, the Southern Columbia coaches told the Tigers that if they let Halifax win the ball, the game was over.
That message didn't go unheard. Shutt played solid in the midfield and helped control the pace of the game, as the Halifax Lady Wildcats managed just three total shots.
"I knew from the start I had to get my head on every ball and not let them win (it)," Shutt said. "Because essentially, if they never have the ball, they can't get any farther."
Shutt and the rest of the Southern Columbia defense did their job and, in turn, it helped the offense flourish. The Tigers' defense gave up just one shot from inside the 18-yard box and the Tigers applied ample pressure offensively.
That pressure helped Southern Columbia score twice in the first half before tapping in a third goal in the second to defeat Halifax, 3-1, in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals at Hamburg High School. The Tigers advance to Tuesday's semifinals against Tulpehocken, back at Hamburg High. It will be the Tigers' first semifinal appearance since 2002.
Halifax (21-2) managed just one shot in the second half while both in the first came off free kicks from 20-25 yards out. Both first-half free kicks came from Halifax's top scorers, Krissy Kelley and Kayla Kelley.
Shutt was a pivotal piece of the Tigers' midfield effort, limiting their touches and chances throughout the game.
"She's just phenomenal. She read the field very, very well," Southern Columbia coach Derek Stine said. "Teanna does a great job on the field. I don't know if we've ever had anyone that works as hard for 80 minutes of a game as she does."