SCRANTON — When third-seeded Abington Heights scored the first goal in Monday’s game, Scranton Prep head coach Doug Knieser had faith his seniors would have the poise and confidence to achieve their goal of reaching another district title game.
They proved him right as the Classics scored the next four goals and held on for a 4-2 win over Abington Heights in a District 2 Class 2A semifinal game at Loyola Field.
“The seniors have been in these spots over the years,” Knieser said. “It’s a credit to them; they do a good job of not getting rattled. They keep fighting and do a real good job.”
The Lady Comets took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Ally Christman crossed a ball across the turf to Allyson Derry who slipped the ball past Classics goalkeeper AJ Hendershot.
Two minutes later, Scranton Prep senior Cara Griffith scored the first of her three goals off an assist from senior Mary Kate Caucci.
Griffith scored an unassisted goal in the 21st minute to give the Classics a 2-1 advantage.
“She put us on her back for a few minutes and made some fantastic plays with the ball,” Knieser said of Griffith.
Scranton Prep came out for the second half with a sense of urgency and senior Liz Shoemaker scored off an assist from Caucci in the 45th minute to stretch the Classics lead to three.
“We talked at halftime that we had to come out really strong,” Shoemaker said. “ We came out and worked together for that goal. It says a lot about the team because I wouldn’t have scored if there weren’t several passes that led up to it.”
Griffith completed her hat trick with an unassisted goal after dribbling through the Lady Comets defense on the way to the net in the 60th minute.
Abington Heights (14-3) pulled to within two goals when Christman scored on a long strike in the 74th minute off an assist from Tiana Yarns.
With the win, the Classics advance to their sixth consecutive district title game. They won three of the last five contests.
“It’s a testament to the girls we’ve had over the years,” Knieser said. “It’s been one strong class after another. They don’t just rely on their talent; they put the time and effort in and they get rewarded for it.”
Second-seeded Scranton Prep (16-1) will play top-seed Coughlin for the District 2 Class 2A title at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Wyoming Seminary.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.