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Emily Cooper’s hat trick leads unbeaten Steel City FC’s ‘complete performance’ in beating Erie, 4-0

Photo courtesy Randy Warner (Steel City FC)

Steel City FC’s women’s squad remained unbeaten in UWS play, defeating Erie Commodores, 4-0, in what the club’s head coach Tom Ovenden boasted as a ‘complete performance’ at Founders Field in Cheswick on Tuesday evening.

With the win, Steel City (5w-0l-2d) keeps them near the top of the UWS East standings and positioned for a postseason appearance, with one regular season match remaining.

Emily Cooper (Oakland Catholic / Pitt) had a pretty impressive complete performance of her own in leading the Steel City effort with a hat-trick and an assist, while Saviria Ulizzi (Montour/Carnegie Mellon).

In goal, Steel City keepers Peyton O’Malley (Chartiers Valley/Bowling Green) in the first half and Sofia DeCerb (Latrobe/James Madison) took second half duties, earned the club’s third clean sheet of the season.

This was a great game for the Womens First team and possibly the most complete performance we have seen this season,” Tom Ovenden said after the match.

“We dominated the ball from the beginning against a hard working Erie team. Everyone chipped in to the performance, everyone on the bench did their thing and it was a joy to coach them tonight.

The hosts took the lead in the 26th  minute when Morgan Kost (Trinity Christian / West Liberty) send a pass to Cooper who took a touch, then slotted her shot inside the right post.

Eight minutes later, Cooper pounced on a loose ball in the box with a clinical finish for the two-goal lead.

Late in the second half, Steel City pulled away when Margherita Memoli’s (Winchester Thurston/Steel City Academy) thru ball caught Cooper in stride, and the rising sophomore at Pitt completed her hat trick in the 89th minute.

“It feels good to breakthrough on the scoresheet,” Cooper said.  “I’ve had a lot of chances this season so it feels great to come away with three!”

Ulizzi’s goal came from solid combination passing and build-up from captain Marissa Salisbury and Cooper, which ended in a crosse to Ulzzi at the far post for the finish.

“It was a quality team effort with great saves from our keepers,” Cooper added. “We knew we needed points to stay on track for the playoffs, and we finally played the way we have been working toward all season. Now, we need to keep this momentum going to get into the playoffs.”

Ovenden came away pleased to see another player who has been with the club as an academy player, make such a big contribution and continue to develop with the first team

“When Emily Cooper is in the team we are hard to play against. She is unpredictable and extremely hard to play against,” Ovenden exclaimed.

“This is her fourth year with  (Steel City’s, previously Hotspurs) first team and she epitomizes what we are trying to achieve at the club as she played up through the academy.”

Randy Warner Steel City FC vs Erie Commodores Photo Gallery

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John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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