The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 25, 2013

Jon Gerardi's high school soccer column: Southern Columbia avenges losses

There's little doubt that Southern Columbia's fans, coaches and players knew last week was going to be one heck of a tough one for the girls' team.

Just a glance at the schedule would indicate why: Monday: vs. Warrior Run; Wednesday: at Loyalsock; Saturday: vs. Central Columbia.

Three games in a six-day span against the only three teams that handed the Tigers losses last season. Loyalsock topped Southern three times -- the third in last year's District 4 semifinals -- Warrior Run swept them in the regular season, and Central Columbia gave them a non-league loss.

No questioning that those six losses stung the Tigers last year and, when last week finally rolled around, they more than wanted to avenge them by putting up some statement wins.

Southern Columbia did just that, going 2-0-1 in the three contests.

"Obviously that was their goal from last year. They're kind of making a statement at this point and time that they are a team to be played," Southern Columbia coach Derek Stine said.

As Meat Loaf (the singer, not the food) once sang: "Two out of three ain't bad."

The week started against Warrior Run, a tough game that went through two overtime periods before Bailey Bzdak came up with a huge goal with an Aly Stavinski assist to beat the Defenders, 1-0.

"It was just a lot of excitement. After the goal was scored, everyone stormed out (onto the field)," Bzdak said. "It was just a lot of excitement, a lot of good emotion (and) a lot of positive energy."

And while Southern Columbia surely wanted to defeat Loyalsock -- a team they haven't beaten since 2010 -- the Tigers settled for a tie after two more tough overtime periods.

"It definitely is good not to have a loss because you can still be undefeated, but it would've been nice to beat them," Bzdak said.

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