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Lead by Pritts’ brace, Yough edges Elizabeth Forward, 3-2, in back-and-forth battle

File Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

Eyeing a return to the WPIAL GIrls 2A soccer final, Yough pulled ahead in the second half to beat Elizabeth Forward, 3-2, in a matchup of teams from the Mon Valley, separated by 10 miles, on Tuesday night at Elizabeth Forward.  

In an 8-vs-9 seed match-up of a rematch which Yough won earlier in the year, 5-2, the teams battled to an even contest in the first half.  

It seemed pretty evident from the beginning Yough was doing everything it could to get the ball into space for sophomore Mckenzie Pritts to allow her to use her talent to create shots.

She did just that from the opening whistle.

Pritts had three thunderous shots on goal forcing the Elizabeth Forward goal keeper Jordan Cochenour to be on her game. After deflecting a Pritts’ shot wide the following corner from Hannah Biros connected with Pritts in a sequence which gave Yough a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.

Cochenour put forth a solid effort in goal to keep it 1-0.

The Warriors eventually made the most of a corner opportunity of its own, as Jaymee McKelvey pounced on the rebound to tap in the equalizer. 

At the midway mark of the first half, with Elizabeth Forward on the front foot and carrying the momentum of the match after tying it up at 1-1, Giovanna Ferraro got in behind the defense, then blasted a shot on Yough’s keeper Marin Sleith, who pushed away the shot, then dove to her left to make the save on the return shot from Ferraro.

Still knotted 1-1, each team pushed for the go-ahead goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half, each finding quality chances but each keeper was able to turn all opportunities away.

With the match becoming so open-ended, eventually the goals would come.

In the 67th minute, Yough’s Natalie Vilcheck found a streaking Hannah Biros behind the defense and she would find the back of the net to give Yough back the lead at 2-1. 

MBria Vahosky leveled the match moments later when she navigated through traffic in the box to find a loose ball, then push it past Sleith to tie the match yet again.

The frantic pace of the match left room for the game winner just seconds later.

On the ensuing kickoff, Pritts made a brilliant individual effort to cut through the Warriors defense to deliver the game-winner with 

As the final minutes ticked away, the Lady Warriors came up short in its last ditch effort to equalize one more time.  

Yough will now meet Class 2A’s top-seeded South Park on Saturday. 

Glory on the Grass

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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