The two-time runner up in WPIAL Girls Soccer Class 3A, in 2019 and 2020, Plum Mustangs began the new season beating a familiar foe yet again, topping Thomas Jefferson, 1-0, on Wednesday evening.
A year ago, TJ suffered only three losses last season, all at the hands of Plum. As the match began, they were determined to get over the hump against their section rival.
As expected, the match would be a grind it out, tightly contested section match.
TJ came out playing a smaller brand of soccer by keeping the ball on the pitch, making short distinct passes to build and create shots.
Plum, while working the ball out of the back, kept looking for the through ball that could possibly break the game open. Several attempts to play it through to Kaitlyn Killinger were well played by the Jaguars defense led by their two center backs Isabella Vozar and Abinjah Ngugi
Plum brought more pressure from the start of the 2nd half.
Seven minutes into the half, Killinger was in on goal only to be turned away by TJ’s keeper Cordelia Wemyss who also turned away the following rebound.
The pressure was just starting to mount.
It was Killinger back in again, as she pushed another shot wide of the mark, then tried her luck from outside with a blast which sailed over the crossbar from 20 yards away.
Eventually, Plum would finally strike paydirt when Killinger’s corner kick cleared Wemyss’ outstretched hands and find the feet of a TJ defender and trickle over the goal line for the 1-0 lead in the 65th minute.
The Jaguars mounted some late pressure, but they could not get the equalizer as the game would come to a close with Plum coming away with yet another victory against its section rival.
For Thomas Jefferson, they’re hoping it is not a case of deja vu, while Plum adds another win as they have their sights set on a third straight trip to the WPIAL finals.