First Posted: 9/25/2014
Talia Szatkowski continued Dallas’ recent run of 100-goal scorers in girls soccer when she reached the milestone Wednesday.
Szatkowski takes pride in adding a new twist to the accomplishment.
“It feels awesome, considering I was only forward this year and last year,” Szatkowski said after scoring four first-half goals while leading the Mountaineers to a 7-1, home-field victory over rival Lake-Lehman in a meeting of the final two Wyoming Valley Conference unbeatens.
Szatkowski, who was presented with a game ball and balloons after the victory, was an all-star sweeper her first two high school seasons while Ashley Dunbar handled most of the scoring.
Dunbar reached the 100-goal mark for her career in 2012, after Ellen Arnaud surpassed it in 2010.
Szatkowski learned of the approaching milestone as the week started.
“I didn’t know until Monday, then I knew I needed eight more,” she said.
Five goals in a 12-1 rout of Hanover Area brought Szatkowski into Wednesday’s contest needing just three more. She scored four in a span of 21:29 late in the first half for a 5-1 Dallas lead.
Szatkowski was happy to reach the century mark because it was an important game to the team and it meant getting the achievement before the team moved back to playing road games.
Dallas coach Abe Lewis is glad he made a decision to move Szatkowski between her sophomore and junior seasons. Having several options on defense helped Lewis commit to a move he had tested for a few minutes at a time on occasion in Szatkowski’s first two seasons and then again during the 2013 preseason.
“Maddie Goodwin stepped up to the plate,” Lewis said. “It was very easy for us to slide Maddie back there to take care of the back of the field and it allowed us to push Talia, who is just a great athlete in general, and use her up top and use her natural gifts of speed and physicalness for the past two years.”
Lewis said the talent surrounding Szatkowski has allowed him to give her one responsibility, as the team’s lone striker.
“I tell her to put the ball in the back of the net and don’t worry about anything else,” Lewis said.
Ruby Mattson, Tiffany Zukosky and Katie Snedecker take care of the midfield.
“Talia’s a great player, but without the three of them controlling pretty much the whole middle of the field, Talia wouldn’t have the opportunities that she gets,” Lewis said. “Those three are really the workhorses and the heart of the team that allow Talia to get all these goals and allow our defense also to not work as hard.”
Mattson, who finished with two goals and two assists, and Zukosky each set up one of Szatkowski’s goals Wednesday.
“The mids were really good at getting the ball in to me,” Szatkowski said.
Dallas finished with a 22-4 lead in shots and also got a goal from Danielle Walsh. Julia Hutsko scored for Lake-Lehman.
“I was extremely happy with the way we played,” Lewis said. “I told the girls if they play the way we did (Wednesday) and the way we did the first half against Coughlin, I expect good things for them.
“I expect them to continue this.”