Catasauqua Press

Thursday, November 23, 2017
Press photo by Linda RothrockHailey Baez (right) eyes up the ball during Catty’s recent playoff game. Press photo by Linda RothrockHailey Baez (right) eyes up the ball during Catty’s recent playoff game.

Girls soccer team reached playoffs

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Catasauqua’s soccer team has reaped some of the benefits from the past two seasons, but they realize there are more to come.

For the first time in 10 years, the Roughies advanced to a district playoff game. However, they fell short to Moravian Academy, 5-1, in an opening-round Class A bracket game. Catty finished with an overall 6-11-2 mark, one loss away from the previous year in which they just missed qualifying for districts.

“None of our girls had the experience of playing in a district game,” said head coach Randy Gillespie. “I think their nerves got the best of them. We thought we would do well.

“Since they were never in that situation before, I think they feared failure. This is a situation in which we can take what we learned from it.”

Gillespie noted that the team matured both physically and mentally during the season. The Roughies got off to a good start only to be stymied by a five-game losing streak.

“Our first two games were high notes for us,” added Gillespie. “Then we hit ‘Murder’s Row.’ We had to play a series of good teams all in a row. For whatever reason, we had trouble scoring.

“It was the luck of the draw, but I felt overall we could have been more competitive. At the end of the season, our girls said that they wanted to have a couple of those early games back. They know we could have played better.”

The Roughies will return leading scorers Lexi Rushatz and Trinity Kern to the lineup next season along with goalie Madison Hicks. Madison Emery is the lone senior starter this season.

“We have high hopes moving forward,” said Gillespie. “We have grown as a program and the kids have worked really hard. We have been able to field a JV team and that hasn’t happened in a while here.

“Being a small school it is very demanding to play 18 games in six weeks. But we have moved the program along to the next level.”

Gillespie also is pleased with the future of the program, as he expects to welcome as many as 10 freshmen next fall. However, the transition for younger players always is a challenge.

“We have a lot of good players at the youth level and I have seen them play,” he said. “But it is hard for them to make the adjustment. The game is more faster and more physical at the high school level.”

Gillespie is optimistic his team can continue to climb the ladder.

“Overall, we had high expectations this year,” he said. “We expected it would be easier for us to make districts, but we did it. We had our high and lows, but overall it was a good year.”