By Marion Valanoski
For The Daily Item
HEPBURNVILLE -- Matt Metzger issued a halftime challenge to his senior girls and captains during Saturday's District 4 Class AA quarterfinal round matchup betwen Selinsgrove and Montoursville and it was right to the point, "This is your chance to end their season and have the last say."
The message did not fall on deaf ears and as a result of a strong second-half offensive performance the Seals advance to the semifinal round Tuesday against Central Columbia as a result of their 2-1 victory over the Lady Warriors at Balls Mills Soccer Club.
Selinsgrove made it a clean sweep as the boys dropped Troy, 4-2, in AA action.
After a scoreless first half, Montoursville (16-3) grabbed a 1-0 lead with 17:40 remaining in the match when Lana Spitler on a three-on-one break drilled a shot past Jessica Lawton for what looked to be at the time an insurmountable 1-0 lead.
"I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the time left and the score and had thoughts of last year's district final loss to them and thought not again," Metzger said. "Give credit to the girls they did not fold but instead went right after them."
The Seals (16-3) used an atacking offense and managed to sent a trio of players at Ally Yocum following a loose ball and Lacey Trautman easily booted the tying goal past the senior keeper with 15:12 showing on the clock to deadlock the score at 1-1.
Montoursville did its very best to come right back and constantly pushed the ball upfield against the Selinsgrove defense but was unable to get a clear scoring opportunity. However, with a change in emotion and small tactical move the Seals again were able to get behind the Lady Warriors' defense and had another trio of attackers in scoring position before Nicole Krebs was able to work herself open and calmly drilled a left-footed blast past Yocum with 9:56 remaining for the eventual winning shot.
"Jenna Fisher did a great job of drawing the defense to her and clearing an opening for Krebs," Metzger said. "We've been preaching to Nicole about taking the open shot and not being so quick to pass the ball."
The final nine minutes the Seals were able to consistently clear the ball out of danger and hold on for the victory.
"It's tough to beat the same team three times in the same year," Metzger said. "We lost to them in the District 4 championship last year and twice during the regular season and they won the conference title so this is big for our team and the seniors."
Lawton had four saves in goal while Yocum had two as the Seals ended the Lady Warriors reign as D-4 titlists.
n Selinsgrove 4, Troy 2
The Seals (16-3) overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit with a solid all-around performance after the break to down the Trojans and advance to next week's semifinal game against Warrior Run.
Selinsgrove grabbed the lead in the opening half 1-0 on Kaelan Sullivan's goal but Troy managed to take control of the rest of the way to take a 2-1 advantage into the break.
Jarred Murray tied the score with 23:58 left in the half and then Shane Miller put the Trojans on top with his goal, 2-1, at the 15:15 mark. It was all Selinsgrove in the second half.
David Aurand tied the score 2-2 when he was able to get his shot past Zach Culkin, who was out of position, before Dustin Moyer and Brady Dunkle collected back-to-back goals to propel the Seals into the next round.
"I told our team we needed to take up our intensity level another notch," Seals coach Chris Lupolt said.