Women's State Soccer Title Makes for 'Unbelievable' Season October, 2001
Their first season ever definitely was one to remember, and the adage, "the third time's a charm," proved true for the Lady Wildcats soccer team.
After struggling to even field a team in the early going, then overcoming the difficulty of getting his players together for practice on a regular basis due to their class schedules, Pennsylvania College of Technology coach Dan Hibbs was obviously pleased with his team's 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Manor College on Saturday that gave it the Pennsylvania Conference Athletic Association championship.
"We won when it counted," Hibbs said, smiling after being reminded that his squad had lost to Manor twice during the regular season 5-1 in the season opener at Manor in Philadelphia and 1-0 in early October in Williamsport.
Kim Kremer, a graduate of Mifflinburg High School, and Rebecca Breary (Lansdale Catholic) scored goals for Penn College in the state title game and goalie Laura Rudenstein (Lower Merion) made them stand up for the win.
"If you've got the players, that's all that it takes," Hibbs said, citing not only Kremer, Breary and Rudenstein, but also Charlee LaForme (Warrior Run) and Melissa McKee (Milton) among the key contributors.
"We went out there and took it to them. I told them I wanted them to start out fast, which isn't easy when you drive 3 1/2 hours, but we scored three minutes in," Hibbs related.
Reflecting on his team's first season, which produced an 8-2 record and saw the Lady Wildcats outscore their opponents 41-14, Hibbs said a highlight for him was "just seeing the girls become more interested in the sport as we became more successful. Seeing them all come together and playing as a team."
Other than Lauren Douglass (West Perry), Susan Wenrich (Lancaster Mennonite) and, possibly Rudenstein, the rest of the squad should be back.
"If they do (return), and we pick up another six players, then we'll have quite a squad. I think we will be all right," Hibbs said.
Added Mike Stanzione, College athletic director, of the Lady Wildcats' success, "It's very exciting. In our first official year of women's soccer to not only field a team that's competitive, but to actually have 14 girls go out there and win a state championship is just unbelievable."