Who Runs The World? Girls… SOCCER!


Willow Danehy, Feature Editor

Up until recent years, the Knoch High School girl’s soccer team didn’t even have enough players to fill up a junior varsity and varsity team. This year, they’ve won the official title of section champions, and are the first girl’s soccer team from Knoch to ever do so!

“It’s a night and day difference from my freshman year,” said senior and captain Greta Dadowski.

This year, the team transitioned into Section 2A to be able to compete against teams with schools closer to their size. They have some familiar opponents, such as Deer Lakes and Gateway, who they’ve played in non-section scrimmages, but also some new teams who they’d never played a high school game against, such as Valley and Burrell.  

However, it isn’t the change of section that led the girls to a well-deserved victory. Every girl on the team has been putting in the work, off and in season, to make this possible. Assistant coaches Larry Oskin, Dave Dadowski, and Mike Robb work with head coach Greg Hess and captains to coordinate off-season opportunities year round to make sure the girls never went long without touching a ball. The girls made attitude a priority, never having a practice or game where someone left without laughing or lifting a teammate up.

Although they had two games left to determine the officiality of the title, the team went to their game against Freeport on Wednesday the 12th knowing that without a victory, their chance for the title of section champs would be gone. After previously losing to Freeport by a hair with a final score of 2-1 earlier in the season, the girls were apprehensive about the game. However, their nerves did not show on the field. They came out as a team no one who’d seen them a couple years ago would’ve recognized. The girls got their winning goal in double overtime only two minutes before time would’ve been up. 

After the victory, the girls were thrilled. The whole team ran out onto the field to celebrate sophomore Emma Slusser making the winning goal. 

“I was amazed when it went in,” said Slusser. “It was such a great win for the entire team.”

Although the game against Freeport was a big deal, and an enthralling win, the section title wasn’t theirs quite yet. They had two more games to win before they truly made history, one against Deer Lakes and one against Apollo Ridge. 

The girls had previously beat Deer Lakes 2-1, a score a little too close for comfort that they hoped to raise in their favor this time around. And indeed they did, coming home with a 3-1 victory. The team was thrilled for the victory, but knew they hadn’t played quite their best and that they would need to in their upcoming game against Apollo Ridge.

“I just know we have more in us than what we showed,” said junior Bella Oskin. “But I’m not worried. I know the team, I know the way we can play, and I know that we’re coming home from Apollo Ridge happy.”

And indeed they did. A final score of 3-1 and a pretty plaque set the title of champions in stone. The whole team played their hearts out, despite freezing temperatures and persistent rain. Senior and captain Megan Vasas scored all three goals for the team and junior and goalie Hannah Klemm kept the other team’s points to a minimum. The energy of the field was electrifying as the girls jumped up and down in celebration, everyone smiling and congratulating each other on a victory that wouldn’t have happened if every single girl on the field hadn’t played with everything in them. 

“I’m extremely happy for the whole team,” said Coach Hess. “I’m glad all their hard work was able to pay off. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls.”

Their hard work isn’t over yet. The next chapter in store for the team is WPIAL playoffs, hopefully followed by states. They’ve already written history with section champs, and they’re ready to write some more. 

“When we play at our best, we’re unstoppable,” said senior and captain Paige Rogers. “So long as we play like the team we know we are in our games to come, we’ve got this in the bag.”

Their first WPIAL playoff game will be tonight at 6:00 at Freeport High School against Hopewell. The student section theme will be 70’s disco, so you better be ready to bust out in a super awesome dance move when something super awesome happens! Come show support for our soccer superstars!