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Redbirds flying high this girls’ soccer season

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The offense has been scoring at a rapid pace, while the defense has been pitching shutouts.

Those are the ingredients that have resulted in a 5-0 start for the Allentown High School girls’ soccer team.

Once Allentown was finished with its 8-0 victory over Nottingham High School on Sept. 19 in Allentown, the Redbirds through five games have fired in 20 goals and allowed just one score.

“I like that our team definitely works well together,” junior striker Emma Pascarella said. “I love our chemistry. I love our chemistry out there. It’s really great. We’re hard to stop when we’re playing like this.”

Allentown coach Kim Maurer has been impressed with her Redbirds.

“The effort was definitely there in the second half,” Maurer said about the team’s play against Nottingham. “We knew Nottingham was a good team, and they gave us a scare in the first half, so we stepped it up in the second half and finished our shots.”

Maurer revealed that she was a bit disappointed in the team’s play in the first half against Nottingham.

“I told them [at halftime] that it’s got to be better,” Maurer said. “The effort’s got to be there, and it was in the second half.”

The coach is hoping that Allentown would start stronger.

“I don’t know why we still come out so slow,” Maurer said. “Today was a little bit better than it has been, but just coming out strong is important. It’s always the first five minutes of each half that have been an issue. We need more effort, I guess.”

“I think that in the first half, we were a little slow to score,” Pascarella said. “We started clicking in the second half, once we started working harder.”

The defense has been led by junior goalie Abby Howell, who has 20 saves so far this season and leads the Colonial Valley Conference in shutouts with four.

Howell spread the credit to her teammates and has relied on her years of playing to produce such a strong start.

“First off, I have a great defense in front of me who limits the opportunities to shoot against me,” Howell said. “Second, it’s just experience. I’ve been playing soccer for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been playing goalie for as long as I can remember. It’s been adding up throughout the years, and it’s all being shown on the field at this point.”

The coach and Redbirds have high expectations for the rest of the year.

“It’s a banner season,” Maurer said. “So, hopefully, there will be a banner hanging in the gym. Nothing less than a banner will be acceptable. Hopefully, Mercer County champions as well.”

“We want to win,” Pascarella said. “It’s that simple.”

The Redbirds were scheduled to play at home against West Deptford High School on Sept. 25 at 4 p.m.

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