Solanco girls soccer loses in district semifinals, can still earn state tournament berth with win Saturday
The Solanco girls soccer team's dream of winning a district title is over. So is the Mules' 11-game unbeaten streak.
But Solanco still has a lot on the line.
The Mules (14-5-2) can claim a berth in the PIAA Tournament with a win at Conrad Weiser Saturday at noon in the district consolation game.
The Solanco football team lost its regular season finale but still managed to make the playoffs by virtue of its solid resumé.
The Mules (5-5) earned the 14th and final seed in the district tournament. Solanco will travel to third-seeded Shippensburg Friday night at 7.
Manheim Central, seeded fourth in the district tournament, defeated the host Mules 49-20 Friday night, October 25.
Solanco's Graci Unger considered neither the ramifications nor the pressure when she stepped to the penalty kick spot with a chance to send her team to the district semifinals.
Cocalico stormed out to a 40-0 halftime lead and downed the Solanco football team 46-15 Friday night, October 18.
SLIDESHOW: Sammi Jackson (number 22) scores the game's only goal in Solanco's 1-0 victory over host Lower Dauphin Monday night, October 21.
Solanco's girls soccer team prevailed because the Mules had nothing to lose and believed they could win.
Playing in their first-ever district tournament game, the 16th seeded Golden Mules stunned top-seeded Lower Dauphin 1-0 Monday night, October 21.
Since girls soccer moved to the fall in 2012, no number 16 seed had defeated a number one seed in the 3A District III tournament.
Solanco girls soccer reaching new heights
The Solanco girls soccer team poses for a photo following practice last Thursday afternoon. Front row (left-right): Arianna Sieberlich, Hannah Walters, Sammi Jackson, Meg Bailey, Paige Balliet, Alanna Brown, Alana Yoder, Gabi Dolan. Back row (left to right): Coach Matt Jansen, Jordyn Ream, Kyle Groff, Nikki Trout, Kendal Janssen, Maya Dolan, Hannah Wood, Rilyn Saner, Kaylin Fowler, Kayden Bedwell, Graci Unger, Coach Ken Yoder. Not pictured: Alyssa Harpe, Megan Plank.
The Solanco girls soccer program is an overnight success that was 17 years in the making.
There had not been many firsts since the Mules first girls soccer team began play in 2003. That all changed this season.
The Solanco volleyball team won two of its last three games to finish with a record of 4-18.
Lititz Christian 3, Solanco 0
The visiting Mules lost 25-16, 25-23, 26-24 Thursday night, October 17.
Emma Canale led Solanco with five kills and five blocks. Jada Dow recorded four kills. Nathaly Molinarez had 15 digs and two aces. Alondra Quinonez notched four aces.
Freshman Anthony Solis-Morales turned in an outstanding performance to lead Solanco at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Cross Country Championship Meet, held at Ephrata Middle School Tuesday, October 15.
Solanco senior Keirra Laird wanted one final goal before she concluded her high school career.
She got it at the last possible second.
Laird scored just prior to the final buzzer in the Mules' season-ending 3-1 loss to visiting Cocalico Friday, October 11.
What was billed as the biggest game in Solanco girls soccer history became the biggest win in Solanco girls soccer history.
The Mules (12-4-2) defeated Donegal 2-0 on Senior Night Tuesday, October 8, to greatly enhance their chances of earning a first-ever district playoff berth.
"I am speechless. I'm not going to lie," said senior midfielder Alana Yoder, who scored the game's first goal and assisted on the other. "We came in hoping for a win. We needed it to make it to districts. All the pieces fell together…We just did what we had to do to move on. We just finished."