The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 31, 2013

Jon Gerardi's H.S. soccer column: Familiar territory for Warrior Run girls

Once that horn went off at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex on Monday evening, the Warrior Run players all jumped and cheered with one another at about midfield.

You could say it was a bit of redemption. After getting upset last year by Danville in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals, the Defenders definitely didn't want a repeat of 2012 to happen this season.

Now, Warrior Run is once again in the District 4 championship game.

It's all familiar territory for Jen Allen.

The Defenders have been to the championship game twice under Allen's reign as head coach since she took over for Kathy Hillard in 2009, and each time they've reached the final under Allen, they've gone on to hoist a PIAA state trophy.

No one on Warrior Run is looking that far down the road though, and no one's assuming anything's a given, either. In fact, you can bet that Allen has her team focused solely on the team at hand today.

The Defenders are up against Montoursville, a team they last faced in the postseason in 2009 when the Warriors topped the Defenders in the Class AA quarterfinals. Only the Class AA champion advances to the PIAA state tournament.

And it may be a bit odd to think of a team that's currently 14-5-1 and just two years removed from a second straight PIAA state title as an "underdog," but coming into this season, that's how some felt at Warrior Run.

"What we kept saying this whole year (is that) we came in as underdogs. Right now, I still believe we're underdogs. We haven't proved as much as we can yet," Warrior Run sophomore Olivia George said after Monday's 4-0 win over Athens. "So I think right now, we're just showing people what we got and people still haven't seen it all. I think last year we didn't show it and we're just continuing on from last year."

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