KINTNERSVILLE — Selinsgrove left the field on Tuesday night wondering what might have been, after falling in double overtime in the Class 3A girls soccer state semifinals.
What if one of the Seals scoring chances went into the goal? What if the defense — which was great throughout the game — held out for 10 more minutes to push the game into a shootout?
“I’m confident if we held them off for nine more minutes, the way (goalkeeper Alivia) Ravy was playing — she’s had a phenomenal season — that we would have come away with it,” Selinsgrove coach Cheryl Underhill said.
One thing the Seals were sure of — even if the ending was a sad one — was they had a lot to be proud of.
“I’m not sad that we lost, I’m just sad that it’s over,” senior Katelyn Stover said. “It’s really hard to explain — and it’s hard to talk — but it’s crazy we made it to the last week of the season.
“I’m not going to lie, at the beginning of the season — it’s not that I was doubtful of our team, but since I’ve played here we’ve only made it to the first round of states — I didn’t expect us to come here. I’m really proud that we did.”
Villa Joseph Marie topped the Seals, and will play for its 12th state title on Friday, while Selinsgrove was in the state semifinals for only the second time in program history.
“We came out fearless, and we’ll be back,” Underhill said. “We knew they would be a quality team. We know we are also a quality team.”
The Seals and Jems battled for 100 minutes before Villa Joseph Marie netted the game-winning goal.
“We played really well out there,” junior Cierra Adams said. “It’s sad that one goal snuck in, but we put our hearts out there. We played our hardest.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the season got off to a different start than usual for the Seals, but it may have been beneficial in the end.
“I have been proud of them all season,” Underhill said. “In May, we had team meetings through Zoom. From that start, the seniors really stepped up, like they made a group chat with all the freshmen. They found ways to really bond as a team when we couldn’t be together. Then when we were together, we were ready to get started. Everyday they showed up and they were ready to practice, excited.”
This year’s version of the Seals was led by 10 seniors, and the leadership of that group played dividends in how well the team worked together.
“They truly found the value of being a good teammate, and playing for each, and how important that can be,” Underhill said.
“For the underclassmen, Cheryl said we’re a leader-group,” Stover said. “I hope they look at that, learn from that, and play as a team. In past years, I feel like there have been problems on the team. This year, there were no problems. We played as literally the definition of a team.”
Senior Annalise Bond said she hoped that was something that the players who would return next season could build on.
“We all meshed very well,” Bond said. “I hope they can further that. Yeah, we lost, but we have friends and coaches who support us at the end, and that’s the name of the game. We need to be there for each other. I hope they learned that this team is a family in the end. No matter how bad or good you did, they’ll always be there for you.”
Adams, one of five juniors on the team, said she and her classmates learned a lot from the seniors.
“Leadership is a big thing; the seniors were great leaders out there,” Adams said. “We just need to fill in the shoes of those seniors. I think we have the people to do that. We have a great coaching staff that can help us get here again. I feel we’re going to do pretty well next year.”