HERSHEY – Emily and Jane Daiutolo briefly lifted up the PIAA Class 3A girls soccer second-place trophy and then placed it on the table behind the Radnor bench at Hersheypark Stadium.
Although they were disappointed following a 2-1 loss to Mars in double overtime, that wasn’t the reason the traditional post-game photo-op only lasted a few seconds.
They were exhausted.
“We were mentally and physically tired and I think that combination was enough to give them that one run that led to the goal,” Emily Daiutolo said.
Both teams were fatigued, but one late run was all Mars midfielder Aly Cooper needed to break Radnor’s collective heart with a left-footed strike in the 108th minute on a chilly Saturday night in Hershey.
Cooper, a senior, picked up a loose ball right in front of the Mars’ bench, worked her way past a fallen Tellian Schwartz and lifted a shot that was just out of the reach of Radnor keeper Mallory Toomey to give the Planets (20-0-1) their third straight state title, fourth overall and extend their 63 games (61-0-2).
Mars has not lost since a 1-0 decision to Blue Mountain in the 2018 PIAA quarterfinals. Cooper kept that streak alive.
“My body was actually numb at that point,” Cooper said. “The girl went down and I knew I had to do something, whatever it took, to share that winning feeling with my team, so I just took the best shot I could. I was a little surprised it went in but you can’t ask for anything else.”
Radnor could. The Raptors (20-5) became the first team to score on the Planets in a state final when Saleh Koleh and Ivy Chaskelson stunned the crowd when they teamed up in the sixth minute to give Radnor a 1-0 lead.
It was only the fourth goal Mars had given up this season and the first time the Planets trailed in a game.
“Ivy saw the opening and I was open in the middle,” Koleh said. “No one was marking me. I had to move around the girl in front of me and then I split the two defenders. I just had to muscle through. I saw the opening toward the right side of the net and shot it.”
Radnor didn’t sit back. The Raptors pressed the issue but never could get that second goal to really put the heat on the Planets. Mars eventually made the Raptors pay for that inability to get a second goal when Reese Dunaway headed home a loose ball in the box in the 55th minute to even the score.
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Radnor’s Selah Koleth, right, carries the ball past Mars Area’s Ainsley Ray Saturday
night. (Marsha Grimm/For MediaNews Group)