Sayre can't slow down Benton
HEPBURNVILLE - Sayre junior Elyse Skerpon scored one of the fast goals you will see in a district soccer game and she had one of the best games of her career, but it wasn't enough on Wednesday as Sayre fell to Benton 5-3 in District 4, Class A playoff action.
Skerpon put Sayre on the board just 14 seconds into the game, but Benton wasted little time tying it as Justine Seeley scored 1:02 later to tie the game.
Benton took the lead in the first 10 minutes of the game as Olivia Zeitler scored off a Casey Gavin assist, but Skerpon again scored for the Redskins at 11:25 to tie the game.
With the game tied, it was a Sayre miscue that put them behind at the half as they committed an own goal to give Benton a 3-2 lead at 10:02 of the half.
"It was tough for her to get over that," Sayre coach Tracy Mennig said. "They all play with their hearts on their sleeves."
Skerpon completed her hat trick at 33:22 of the second half to tie the game for the Redskins.
"We really were playing beautiful balls through, and a few times Jess Hickey was coming on the other side," Mennig said. "Sometimes it just doesn't fall your way."
The game remained tied as both teams had some chances.
Gavin had a scoring chance for Benton, blasting a shot that goalie Sarah Ostroski saved and midway through the half Seeley had an indirect kick that went just high.
Seeley fired a shot at 21:20 that Ostroski leaped to tip over the bar and just two minutes later Sayre had a chance with a scramble in front of the net, but Benton goalie Kaitlyn Derrick came up with the save.
Benton took the lead at 15:25 as Seeley scored and just 1:16 later Gavin scored off a Seeley assist to make the final score.
"They came right back at us," Mennig said. "I couldn't ask any more of these girls. They played their hearts out."
The speed of Gavin and the height of Seeley, an all-state basketball center, made things tough for Sayre on defense.
"With her height in the middle we knew we had to win the ball and we didn't win the ball well there," Mennig said.
Down a goal at the half Mennig was happy with the way her team came out and played and tied the game in the second half.
"We came out in the second half and we played great," Mennig said. "We possessed the ball a lot and we had a lot of speed up front and we took advantage of it."
With a group of 11 seniors, Mennig had big hopes for this team and it was a solid season for the Redskins.
"I was excited coming into the preseason," she said. "The core group of players have been together for years. I think going 10-4-2 a couple of those losses and ties could have gone our way.
"But, we had a solid shot of making it through this round today."
Sayre finished the game with 12 shots and one corner kick and Benton had 15 shots and five corner kicks.
Ostroski had nine saves in the game and Derrick finished with seven saves for Benton.