Coach Tim Coryea’s District 10 champion Mercer High girls soccer team rallied for a 3-1 win over West Branch on Tuesday in the opening round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs at Franklin High School.
District 6 champion West Branch (16-5-1) took a 1-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first half on a goal by Trinity Prestash.
The Lady Warriors maintained the 1-0 lead at halftime.
Mercer’s Julia Balaski tied the game at 1-all with 25 minutes left in the 2nd half off a corner kick from Devyn Bailey.
Bailey then buried a goal of her own for a 2-1 lead. A West Branch defender attempted to kick the ball away from their goalie and Bailey pounced on the clearing attempt and fired in a goal.
Peyton Miller gave Mercer (18-3-1) a 3-1 lead by firing in a goal with 7 minutes left in regulation.
Bailey Grossman picked up the win in goal for the Lady M’s.
District 10 Region 1 champion Mercer beat Seneca (3-2) in the D-10 quarterfinals, ousted Eisenhower (2-1) in the semifinals and then captured the program’s first-ever District 10 title with a 3-1 win over Iroquois last Wednesday at Meadville Area Senior High School’s Bender Field.
Mercer’s roster is comprised of 7 juniors, 5 sophomores and several freshmen.
Coach Angie Fenush’s West Branch squad beat Bishop Guilfoyle (6-2) in the D-6 semifinals and then defeated Moshannon Valley (3-0) for the program’s first-ever district crown. It was the 3rd straight season they competed for the district title. They lost to Bishop McCort both seasons.
Mercer advances to Saturday’s PIAA quarterfinals to play District 7 champ Shady Side Academy, a 9-0 winner over Everett on Tuesday.