BELLE VERNON – Belle Vernon knocked Trinity out of the ranks of the unbeaten in girls soccer Tuesday night with a 6-2 Section 2-AAA win.
“We came out with a little bit of an edge tonight and were proactive and not reactive,” said Belle Vernon coach Tracy Lovett. “I feel that we controlled play at the midfield, and it created opportunities for our forwards.”
Trinity coach Dave Sinclair said his team was slow getting started.
“We were a little out of sync early but settled down in the second half,” he said. “We ran out of gas, but we will get them again at home.
“Give them credit though as they played well.”
The Leopards (5-1, 6-1) opened the scoring when Morgan Einodshofer took a pass from Victoria Rodriguez with 25:26 left in the first half and scored.
It was the first of three first-half goals for the hosts when the Leopards took advantage of their three best scoring chances while Trinity missed on two golden opportunities late in the half.
“We controlled things overall and took advantage of those chances,” said Lovett. “Our defense played well and it led to some chances.”
Izzy Laurita tallied Belle Vernon’s second and third goals of the half to put the match out of reach.
Trinity (4-1, 4-1), playing without a couple of starters, had two prime opportunities to score in the last five minutes of the half but came up empty.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities and they cashed in,” said Sinclair. “We had one point-blank (chance) but just missed.”
Jill Butchki extended Belle Vernon’s lead to 4-0 with 34:58 remaining to play before Alyssa Clutter finally got the Hillers on the scoreboard with a goal with 33:18 to go.
Butchki scored two more second-half goals to finish with a hat trick, with assists by Farrah Reader and Einodshofer. Clutter scored her second goal of the match with 21:44 remaining.
Einodshofer, a junior, finished with two assists to continue her assault on the Belle Vernon school assist record and now has 57 for her career.
“Morgan is the epitome of a team player and always looks to get her teammates involved,” Lovett said.
Both teams return to section play Thursday as Trinity hosts first-place Connellsville (4-0, 4-0) at Hiller Field while Belle Vernon is at Laurel Highlands (2-4, 2-4). The Leopards are at Hempfield today for a non-section match.