Girls Soccer

Unlikely scorer powers Blue Devils into soccer semifinals

GREENCASTLE — A pair of very nice surprises was in store for the Greencastle-Antrim girls soccer team Thursday night.

— A substitute, Brooke Guthrie, was the heroine for the Blue Devils, scoring both of her team’s goals in a 2-1 victory over Hershey in a District 3 Class 3A quarterfinal game at Kaley Field.

— No. 1 seed Bishop McDevitt was knocked off in penalty kicks by Twin Valley, which means Monday’s district semifinal game will now be played at Greencastle, with the No. 4 seed Blue Devils (18-1-1) against the No. 8 seed Raiders (13-5-1).

Haley Noblit

Guthrie, a sophomore midfielder, had two chances in the second half, both on crosses from the right side, and Guthrie made no mistake on either of them. She gave G-A a 2-0 lead with 8:14 left and although Hershey did score a goal, Greencastle earned the victory.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Guthrie, who had never scored more than one goal in a game, and now has six this season. “Haley (Noblit’s) crosses are usually perfect and she put it right there. But I didn’t even know (the first goal) was in until I saw it in the net.”

Her first goal broke up a scoreless duel that pitted G-A’s high-octane offense against the Trojans’ stingy defense.

Hershey actually had the first good chances about 10 minutes in. After a corner kick, the Trojans had three consecutive headers — one went off the crossbar, one deflected off goalkeeper Lexi Nelson’s hand and the final one was pushed over the top of the goal.

Then Greencastle coach Chris Noblit, who had started Haley Noblit and Mia Libby in the midfield, moved his daughter up to the front line and the game turned in the Blue Devils’ favor.

“We needed to have somebody hold the ball on offense,” coach Noblit said. “Once I saw their midfield play a while, I thought we could handle it if I moved Haley up.”

Haley Noblit gave the Trojan defense plenty of problems, but eventually she was stymied when up to three defenders surrounded her. And Hershey played particularly physical against her, with a majority of its 18 fouls directed at her.

“Their defense was as physical as any I’ve seen, and I wasn’t expecting that,” Haley Noblit said. “What I wanted to do was get them on my back and either try to create a chance to score or look for a midfield option.”

The Blue Devils had two good chances in the second half before finally cashing in. Mary Murray had an uncontested shot sail high, and a shot by Libby just missed the left post.

In the 53nd minute, Libby cut in front of a Trojan midfielder on a goal kick, carried the ball to the box and passed off to Noblit on the right. Noblit lofted a cross to the far side and Guthrie poked it in with her right foot for a 1-0 lead.

With just over eight minutes left, a similar setup resulted in the second goal. This time it was defender Abi Guthrie who crossed a ball into the middle from the right side and Brooke Guthrie — using her left foot this time — beat keeper Hanna Russell to the left side of the net.

“I didn’t even realize I was that open, because I was just watching the ball,” Guthrie said.

Chris Noblit said, “So many times, Haley’s crosses would go untouched, and then boom … boom.”

Kate Moniak scored for the Trojans with 5:22 left on rare lapse by the G-A defense and it got a little hairy for a few minutes.

Haley Noblit nearly made it 3-1, but her tough-angle shot from the right side hit the far post and refused to trickle across the line.

She has hit the crossbar or post at least six times in the last two playoff games.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” she said. “Five last game and then this one; I was mad.”

But not mad for long. Because not only did Greencastle earn a win, but it gets to play another home game.

Greencastle-Antrim 2, Hershey 1
Hershey                   0     1     —     1
Greencastle            0     2     —     2
Second Half
GA — Brooke Guthrie, asst. Haley Noblit, Mia Libby, 53rd minute
GA — B. Guthrie, asst. Abi Guthrie, 73rd minute
H — Kate Moniak, 76th minute
Shots — Her 7; GA 16. Shots on goal — Her 4; GA 8. Corner kicks — Her 2; GA 1. Saves — Her 6 (Hanna Russell); GA 3 (Lexi Nelson). Fouls — Her 18; GA 11. Offsides — Her 3; GA 0.


Categories: Girls Soccer, Greencastle