Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Perfect season for C.B. East girls ends against Upper St. Clair

HERSHEY - Amid all the white jerseys, there was Emma Loving, her navy blue No. 8 jersey surrounded by players from Upper St. Clair.

HERSHEY - Amid all the white jerseys, there was Emma Loving, her navy blue No. 8 jersey surrounded by players from Upper St. Clair.

The senior for the Central Bucks East girls' soccer team spent the majority of the PIAA Class AAA final Saturday in that fashion. The Panthers defenders never left the explosive forward alone.

Some plays, three players flanked her on both sides and behind. On other sequences, a fourth player would come over just to keep tabs on the Penn recruit.

Loving remained relentless in her pursuit of perfection and a state title as she powered the attack. Despite her best efforts, C.B. East came up short, falling to the Panthers, 2-1, at Hersheypark Stadium.

"I think we thought this was our year," Loving said. "I think we still had an awesome season. This loss doesn't take away from that at all, but at the same time it's kind of sad to look back on this because I'm always going to want this game back."

The Patriots (24-1-1) dominated the run of play but struggled to score.

"It's disappointing," Loving said. "It's wasn't our best game and it's a hard game to not have your best game in. That's the way things go sometimes."

Loving and Hannah Zach connected in the 63d minute. Zach, a junior midfielder, sent a beautiful corner into the box and Loving headed it in to tie the game at 1.

Upper St. Clair (20-2-1) then took the lead with seven minutes left.

"[Loving's] been such a strong player ever since I've gotten to this team," Zach said. "Working with her is so easy because you know she is going to work her butt off and she's going to give it her all."

After the game, the Patriots lined up to receive their medals. One by one the announcer went down the line. The first name called was the most obvious.

"Emma Loving."

The crowd exploded, letting their workhorse hear it.

She may have spent most of 80 minutes surrounded by opponents, trying to create chances by herself, but in her final moments in a C.B. East uniform, the fans weren't going to let her be alone.

Central Bucks East 0 1 - 1

Upper St. Clair 1 1 - 2

Goals: CBE-Emma Loving; USC-Emma Hasco 2.

Saves: CBE-Kristen Obetz 1; USC-Nikki Gibbons 8.

rallysports@phillynews.com