Girls soccer: Megan Posmer nets 1st-half hat trick as Lockport routs Providence

Porters score 7 goals in nonconference win

ockport's Kaylin Klutcharch and Providence Catholic's Maggie Wolniakowski both go up for a header during a game against  Thursday March 30, 2023 at Lockport East High School

LOCKPORT – The season didn’t exactly start well for Megan Posmer.

The Lockport junior dislocated her knee on the first day of practice.

But in her third game back in the lineup things went much better for Posmer. The forward not only scored her first high school hat trick, she did it in the first half. Bella Diorio added a pair of goals as the Porters scored early and often in a 7-0 victory over Providence Catholic.

It was the Porters (5-1) first game since losing 1-0, including 5-3 in penalty kicks, to Lincoln-Way Central last Thursday in the title game of the Reavis Windy Ram City Soccer Classic Tournament.

“I started the season with a left knee injury,” said Posmer, who is a three-year varsity player. “But our trainer [Joe Cunnane] worked with me every day to get me ready, and this is my third game back.

“No, I’ve never had a hat trick, and these were my first goals of the season. Hat tricks are fun.”

Yes, they are, and Lockport coach Todd Elkei knows that having her only helps an already strong lineup.

“Good for Megan,” Elkei said. “She’s battled that knee injury. But she’s so quick and having her, Bella, and [junior forward] Heather Canny on the attack has been fun to watch.”

The Porters’ offense was moving from the start. Posmer scored her first goal, finding the lower left corner 6:02 into the game. A minute and 15 seconds later she got open in front for her second goal. About 19 minutes later she completed the hat trick by taking a pass from junior defender Emma Czech and scoring from the right side for a 3-0 lead with 13:46 left in the first half.

Providence (2-4-1) had a corner kick opportunity by junior midfielder Mia Bilinski from the right side just over 15 minutes into the game. It didn’t result in a shot on goal, and it would be the only good scoring opportunity for the Celtics, who lost senior midfielder Grace Ryan to a leg injury in the 30th minute.

In the meantime, Diorio scored her first goal by making a nice run and outracing the defender on a nice feed from junior midfielder Natalie Zodrow. About 3 minutes later, with 4:56 to play in the first half, Diorio scored again off an assist from freshman defender Hayden Spodarek. That made it 5-0 and that stood up as the halftime score.

I knew it was going to be a tough game and Lockport is pretty stacked right now,”

—  Dan Potempa, Providence coach

The Porters substituted freely in the second half. Canny corralled a rebound and scored just more than 5 minutes into the second half after sophomore defender Alyssa Flood found the post with one of her shots. Abby Mack capped the scoring by taking a great through ball from fellow junior midfielder Julia Chlebek with 6:17 to play.

Zodrow, Kaylin Klutcharch and Emma Verdon controlled the middle for Lockport and started several scoring opportunities. That allowed sophomore Liz Rock to get another shutout.

Janet Vinci saved several shots for the Celtics, especially in the second half. The senior’s highlight save came late in the first half as she dove to her right to deflect a shot by Zodrow and have it glance off the left post. She then turned away another attempt by Mack with 3:01 to play in the half and keep it at 5-0.

Providence coach Dan Potempa is back on the sidelines for the Celtics for this season after a three-year hiatus. He previously coached the girls team for 11 years and the Providence boys team for 13 years. Mike Taylor is slated to take over the boys and girls programs next year.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game, and Lockport is pretty stacked right now,” Potempa said. “This is a good learning experience, and Janet Vinci made some nice saves, especially in the second half. She was the Janet that I know and love.

“This will only make us better. We lost our season opener 9-0 to Lincoln-Way Central, but we’re so much better as a team now, and we will only keep improving heading into the postseason.”