DeMoss, Lakers at 12-0 with postseason tournament looming

Pymatuning Valley’s Leah DeMoss (13) kicks the ball in a recent home match against Grand Valley.

LORDSTOWN — The Pymatuning Valley girls soccer team walked off the field. It was another victory for the Lakers, this time besting Lordstown on the road.

It was another multi-goal performance for PV’s Leah DeMoss. She finished with a hat trick in the 4-1 win Monday night. DeMoss also picked up an assist on Zoey Painter’s goal. Painter also assisted on all of DeMoss’ scores.

Performances like Monday are becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence for DeMoss. She’s been an important part in the Lakers’ 12-0 start to the season and 6-0 record in the Northeastern Athletic Conference.

DeMoss missed time last soccer season due to a bone chip in her hip. But she hasn’t missed a beat in her sophomore year.

“I just go with the flow,” DeMoss said. “I have great teammates with me. They help me. They’re always there, supportive. Especially the year before, when I had some injuries, and they just brought me back into it.”

The Lakers have a roster filled with freshmen and veteran upperclassmen. And the whole roster has been critical to DeMoss’ success in 2021.

Ellie Struna, one of the veteran leaders, finished with 15 saves against the Red Devils.

“We’re all getting there step by step,” DeMoss said. “We’re gonna work together and we’re gonna do great.”

And the Lakers have been playing great to this point in the season. They earned the seventh seed in the Division III Akron 1 district for the upcoming postseason tournament. PV will play nearby Grand Valley in the first round at home on Oct. 21.

DeMoss’ offensive output is a byproduct of the team’s play, according to PV head coach Jerry King.

“I would say our offense starts with our defensive group,” King said. “They get the ball up, that and our midfield line, they get the ball up and allow us to play a 4-3-3 instead of stacking the box.”

DeMoss has been used as a defensive fixture as well this season. Due to her leg strength, King has put her in the back of the defense when leading late in games. The goal is to allow her to get the ball out of the Lakers’ side of the field while playing that role.

King said one of DeMoss’ best skills is her passing. He said as she starts to get more attention, she will need to create plays by getting the ball to young teammates like Jolene Sharpe and Painter.

“Teams are gonna start focusing on her and she’s gotta be able to distribute and get our midfielders involved,” King said.

King said the team’s success has been a “collective effort” this season. Like any other scorer, DeMoss wants to continue finding the back of the net. But she also wants to see the team continue to win. And both DeMoss and the team are in good position thanks to the team’s chemistry.

“We get out there and work together,” DeMoss said. “It’s like a family.”

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