November 06, 2019
By: Erica Rose
All teams want to be playing their best come playoffs. Sometimes they peak too early, sometimes injuries aren't their friends, and sometimes things fall into place perfectly. Well I wouldn’t say things are perfect for the Freedom girl’s soccer team, but this Cinderella story has been an exciting fairy tale. Let's trade in the glass slipper for some cleats in this story though!
It all started when the Patriots won the team's first-ever District XI title as the No. 7 seed. The team picked right up where they left off in the opening round of states Tuesday night. The (now) 18-6 Patriots took on the 5th place team from District 1 in Council Rock South, and they came away with the 3-1 victory surprising even themselves. The Golden Hawks outplayed the Patriots, controlling the final 20 minutes of the opening half and first 10 in the second. They even outshot the Patriots, but Freedom's defense came up huge, leaving Council Rock with only one goal to show for it. Freshman keeper Megan Raffino came up big with 12 saves in the win.
Despite the Patriots scoring just 62 seconds into the game, sixth-year head coach Bob Eaton felt his team came out a little flat in the first half. Nerves were certainly a factor. The team didn’t know what to expect with the Golden Hawks. But at half, they talked and they wanted to go back to playing their game, which is what they have been playing for the past 4 or 5 weeks; and well the rest is history.
For anyone who has been following the Patriots, they will not be surprised to hear that it was Haley Gschrey’s two very impressive goals that got the job done. Boy did she make her opponents look silly. Taking on and taking down the defense one by one. In fact she got past three defenders, pulled the keeper and dodged her before depositing the final goal of the night. That takes talent. After the game the LaSalle recruit, was pretty speechless. This is a great win for the team, who just made history once again.
The Patriots will play District 1 – third place Conestoga on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Conestoga defeated their opponent 7-0 in the opening round. Even if the Patriots see their run come to an end on Saturday, this will be one not only the team will never forget, but also the players who came before them in recent years who started paving the way.
Good luck girls!