By Dante Quazzo
University High School scored two goals in the first ten minutes against rival Lick-Wilmerding in the Bay Counties League West semifinals and never looked back, cruising to a 4-0 victory on Wednesday at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields.
University (19-2-1) controlled possession throughout, leading to a long day for the fourth-seeded Tigers (3-5-3 in BCL West).
“We definitely want the ball,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “We try to keep possession, create scoring chances and put pressure on the other team right away.”
University sophomore Nicolette Symanovich opened up the scoring with a goal in the first minute. Teammate Adrian Kerester sent a crossing pass toward the net and Symanovich kicked it in for the score.
Junior forward Nikki Leong followed suit with goal of her own in the seventh minute, sent into the net from the top of the penalty area.
“I think a lot of [our success] was [due to the] excitement for the game,” Leong said. “Last year was a real disappointment, when we dropped out at this point last year against Lick, and I think a lot of that still resonated with the team.”
The Red Devils went into the half up 2-0, and while Lick was starting to play stronger, it wasn’t enough to break through.
Then, University’s Katie Shanagher and Marisa Lowe scored in the 50th and 78th minutes, respectively, to put the game out of reach.
“I think we were a little bit on our heels after getting down so quick,” said Lick-Wilmerding head coach Matt Kurnick. “We picked up toward the end of the first half and came out strong in the second half, but it was too much of a deficit to overcome.”
It’s an unfortunate end to the season for the Tigers, as University advances to play for the championship against Marin Academy on Friday.
“None of it quite came together. It wasn’t really our day today,” Kurnick said. “[The girls] had a hard fought season, and ultimately the bounces just didn’t go our way.”
Marin Academy 2, Urban 1
Urban (11-2-3) dealt the first blow on a goal from McCall Calhoun at the end of the first half, but Marin Academy (6-8-1) staged a comeback in the second half to upset the Blues.
The Wildcats took control in the second half behind goals from Ruby Baumbaugh and Jo Ubben. The game was tight throughout, but the Blues ultimately came up short.