The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 10, 2013

H.S. girls soccer: Southern Columbia downs Halifax in state quarters


After Southern Columbia (21-1-1) was nearly blindsided in Tuesday's first-round game -- trailing Schuylkill Haven 3-0 at the half before a remarkable comeback -- the Tigers made sure they came out fast and aggressive on offense from the get-go Saturday.

It took just nine minutes before Southern found the back of the net. All-state forward Bailey Bzdak took a ball from Aly Stavinski and dribbled to just outside the goal area and fired to the top left corner of the net for the opening goal.

Bzdak then scored again, off a Haley Levan corner kick, with 21:45 to play to go up 2-0. Levan's corner was perfectly placed just a few yards in front of the Halifax goalie and took one bounce before Bzdak used her speed and got right where she had to be to head it to the top center of the goal.

"Corners is one of our weaknesses, I think. We normally don't finish them," Bzdak said. "It happened to bounce right in the right spot for me to just jump up and hit it in. So I just came through and found the ball."

The Tigers added a huge third goal midway through the second half when Mackenzie Clark got a through-ball down just inside the left side of the 18-box. Clark got tangled with a Halifax defender, but still managed to tap it above both she and Halifax goalie Brianna Turner to put the Lady Wildcats down, 3-0.

"What can I say? They know where they want to be and they're working real hard," Stine said. "Bailey and Mackenzie obviously stepped it up, too."

The Tigers dominated offensively, outshooting Halifax, 19-3, and holding an advantage on corners, 9-2.

Southern Columbia lost the shutout with 18:09 to play. Halifax senior Brianna Rowe managed to take a loose ball that Tigers keeper Abbey Herr dropped and hit a slow roller to the far post as Southern Columbia defenders tried unsuccessfully to chase it down.

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