Preview: PIAA Girls Class 3A Soccer Final
FINAL: Mars 2, Villa Joseph Marie 0
Mars girls soccer team capped an impressive two-season run of winning back-to-back PIAA titles with its 2-0 victory over Villa Joseph Marie in Hershey on Friday.
Gracie Dunaway scored three minutes into the match, then after weathering a bit of storm in the late first half, as Courtney Lisman made a key save, the Planets added an insurance goal in the 51st minute when Sami King converted a free kick from Ellie Coffield.
The Planets finished unbeaten (19-0) for the second season in a row.
This is the third PIAA girls soccer title in school history.
— PCNTV (@pcntv) November 20, 2020
FINAL: MARS 2, VILLA JOSEPH MARIE 0
This win caps an impressive two-year run. Mars (19-0) wins back-to-back PIAA titles and haven’t lost a single game along the way. This is the third state title in program history.
51′ – GOAL – MARS! DOS A CERO!
It’s Sami King to give the Planets the 2-goal lead! Ellie Coffield delivered the free kick.
Here’s a look at Mars’ lone goal — early in the 1st half — scored by Gracie Dunaway from Londlynn Gonzalez.
— PCNTV (@pcntv) November 20, 2020
HALF — MARS 1, VJM 0
40′ – VJM’s Shea Riley rips a free kick from about 40 yards out as the halftime buzzer sounds and Mars’ GK Courtney Lisman has to tap it over the net for the save.
38′ – VJM gets their best opportunity yet as Madison Crozier receives a pass around the 6-yard box, but she can’t get a shot off as Mars defenders came swarming in to clear it.
31′ – Mars’ Ellie Coffield from 25 yards — sails over the crossbar.
After the match kicks off, we’ll be providing game updates here..
3′ – GOAL – GRACIE DUNAWAY – MARS
A well placed thru ball from Londynn Gonzalez played right to Dunaway’s feet — and an easy technical finish for the Purdue recruit!
Starters for Mars:
Courtney Lisman – GK
Ellie Howell – D
Gracie Dunaway – D
Piper Coffield – D
Gwen Howell – D
Erin Rodgers – D
Ellie Coffield – M
Leana Cuzzocrea – M
Londynn Gonalez – F
Caroline Wroblewski – F
Aly Cooper – F#PIAASoccer @pghsoccernow @marsgirlssoccer
— Jordan Smith (@JSmith_1187) November 20, 2020
Match Preview: Mars (18-0) vs Villa Joseph Marie (15-0)
What can be said here that we haven’t said before?
Mars girls are really, really good. The Fighting Planets have not lost a match since 2018. They have won seven WPIAL titles.
Guess what? Once again, there final test will be against another Girls 3A powerhouse program in Villa Joseph Marie. These two schools have already met in the PIAA finals before, including two times Mars came away with wins — in 2011 and 2019.
Villa Joseph Marie is an all-girls academy and scholastic sports power located in Holland, Bucks County who’ve won 11 PIAA girls soccer titles.
In the quarterfinal round Villa Joseph Marie beat Northwestern Lehigh, 4-0, then were tested by District 4 champion Selinsgrove, pulling out a 1-0 win in double overtime on Tuesday.
The closest we’ve seen to a run like this from a WPIAL school in recent years, winning back-to-back WPIAL titles and potentially PIAA championships, was when another 3A school, Moon, did it in 2016 and 2017.
The talented, experienced WPIAL and defending PIAA champions with a roster that includes multiple Division I soccer commits are now one game away from completing an impressive mission of winning back-to-back state titles.
After opening its PIAA title defense with an impressive 8-0 throbbing of District 9 champion Warren, the Fighting Planets now faced a tougher test from Mechanicsburg in Tuesday’s semifinal, but still, they pulled away with a 2-0 win.
Including its four-game run in the WPIAL playoffs and the first two rounds of the PIAA playoffs, Mars have outscored the opposition 25-2 this postseason.
To Mask or Not to Mask?
There was some question about whether players would be wearing masks, in light of PA mandate that begins on Friday.
Mars Athletic Director Scott Heinauer shared this with Pittsburgh Soccer Now this morning:
“Mars athletes have a wavier from our solicitor saying that our players are not mandated to wear face coverings while playing a sport however if they choose to do so they may do so.”
Game officials and all players and coaches on the benches will be required to wear a mask.
— PCNTV (@pcntv) November 19, 2020