Mariah Deibert, the Abington Heights goalie, gains control of the ball from Kristin Kemmerer (7) of Berwick.Don Carey/the times leader
LEHMAN TWP. — Big games can occasionally create unlikely heroes.
Berwick sophomore Alivia Cokosky became one Thursday night.
Cokosky hadn’t played soccer in four years. She finally found some playing time on the varsity just a few games ago.
And, most important to Berwick, she scored one goal and was directly responsible for another as the Dawgs defeated Abington Heights 3-1 for the District 2 Class 3A title at Lake-Lehman High School.
Berwick (10-4-2) won its first district title in girls soccer after losing in a championship game the past two years. It will play the District 3 fourth seed – either Conestoga Valley or Wilson – on Tuesday, possibly at Lake-Lehman High School. Abington, the defending champion, ended its season at 8-7-1.
“Extremely excited,” Cokosky said of her performance. “Stunned, actually.”
Cokosky scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 48th minute off a precision pass by Brooke Orlando. Orlando dribbled the ball down the left side almost to the end line before ripping a grounded crossing pass to Cokosky, who tucked her shot inside the left post.
A few minutes prior, Orlando ended Abington’s streak of 432 minutes without surrendering a goal by scoring off an assist by Isabella Jaffin to tie the score 1-1.
“It brought our heads up,” said Berwick sweeper Katlin Michaels, who was outstanding on defense. “Everybody’s heads went right up. And Liv Cokosky, she doesn’t even play varsity and she really stepped up.”
Berwick completed its three-goal second half in the 57th minute when Cokosky sent a crossing pass from the left side that was inadvertently knocked into the goal by an Abington player rushing in to defend.
“I was looking for (Jaffin),” Cokosky said, “but she wasn’t there. The girl kind of hit it in herself.”
Berwick had plenty of opportunities in the first half, including six corner kicks. Abington, though, had the lead at halftime as Jessie Fox scored off a cross by Meghan Lenahan after a scramble in front of the goal.
“We hung in there pretty smart in the first half and did what we wanted to do,” Abington Coach Chris Davis said. “Then we thought, ‘now we got the wind,’ but we let up in the first 10-12 minutes in the second half and gave up two quick goals. Then we had some chances, we started to control the game, but it was too late.”
Berwick clamped down on Abington’s offense in the second half, with Michaels leading a defense that also featured midfielder-turned-stopper Tricia Gundersen, outside backs Nicole Sheptock and Megan Weaver and keeper Haley McClaflin.
“I have to keep reminding myself she is extraordinary because I see it every day,” Berwick Coach Bill McClaflin said of Michaels. “It’s every day, not just once in a while.”
First half: 1. AH, Jessie Fox (Meghan Lenahan), 17th; Second half: 2. Ber, Brooke Orlando (Isabella Jaffin), 44th; 3. Ber, Alivia Cokosky (Orlando), 48th; 4. Ber, own goal, 57th.
Shots: AH 11, BER 12; Saves: AH 9 (Mariah Deibert), BER 5 (Haley McClaflin); Corners: AH 3, BER 10.