ODP East Region Championship: Haley Gschrey's Goal Gives U15 Girls Regional Title
Eastern Pennsylvania 2, New York-West 1, Extra Time
The soccer season is long in general, and it can be made longer by particular competitions and particular games. Case in point: the Eastern Pennsylvania U15 Girls team. After breezing through qualifying two weeks ago, outscoring opponents 10-1, the girls ran into trouble in the ODP East Region semifinals.
They went back and forth with New Jersey through extra time, eventually settling for a 2-2 draw that was decided in penalty kicks. Eastern Pennsylvania prevailed.
On Sunday, the opponent was New York-West, but the result was nearly the same. Paige Temple scored in the first half, converting a cross from Elena Hinkson. New York-West equalized midway through the second half. Both teams were clearly exhausted, but Eastern Pennsylvania found a winner.
Haley Gschrey made a strong run down the right flank, sent in a cross, then fired in from close range as the ball bounced through the box. Janae Stewart provided the assist.
Eastern Pennsylvania's defense held firm the rest of the match, and that was it. Their long weekend was over, and they were the ones collecting winners' medals.
"After the goal was scored, it was just really overwhelming after everything we'd been through yesterday and today," said Gschrey. "I feel like this year that we were the best we've ever been."
Teammates run to congratulate Haley Gschrey (middle, headband) after her goal gave Eastern Pennsylvania a 2-1 lead in extra time.