POLAND 4, FRANKLIN 1
Mikayla Blumenstock’s three goals gave Poland Central a soccer sweep.
Blumenstock, the Tornadoes’ freshman forward, tallied a hat trick Saturday in a 4-1 win over Franklin in a Class D state regional match at Fulton High School.
With the victory, state-ranked No. 6 Poland (19-1-0) advances to the state semifinals for the first time since 1998. The Tornadoes play Section V champion Jasper-Troupsburg at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School, giving the school two teams in the Class D final four.
“It’s pretty awesome to have both teams going,” Blumenstock said. “It’s cool to see Poland teams out there.”
Paige Sullivan also scored for Poland which also sent both teams to the Final Four 14 years ago.
“I guess we do need the boys,” Poland coach Tom Basel said. “They do inspire each other.”
Perhaps the drama of the boys’ game was on the mind of the Poland girls when they started their match against the seventh-ranked Purple Devils from Section IV. That might be why Poland spotted Franklin a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jessica Downin 3:43 into the match.
The lead, though, was short lived.
Sullivan tied the game five minutes later with her 11th goal on a direct kick, and Blumenstock, Poland’s leading scorer, put the Tornadoes on top for good 27 minutes into the match. Blumenstock, who has 35 goals and six assists, said somewhere in between Sullivan’s goal and her first, Poland found its focus and began to rely on its preferred possession game.
“It was a little bit of panic,” said Blumenstock of playing from behind. “But as a team we have a lot of composure. We’ve been down before and we went right back at it.”
Blumenstock added two goals in the second half, one in the sixth minute and another in the 23rd. Alyssa Lepper and Tara Seigle each contributed an assist as Poland extended its win streak to 11 matches. Courtney Green made four saves.
Haley Downin made eight saves for Franklin.