Warriors Advance To Elite 8
WILLIAMSPORT — Wyoming Area built an early lead and quelled Midd-West’s comeback attempt to claim a 2-1 win in the first round of the Class 2A girls soccer state playoffs.
“I feel amazing. I mean this is an historical event for our school,” Warriors coach Nikki Sitkowski said. “Nobody has ever gotten past Districts, so I’ll take it.”
Both teams traded opportunities to put a goal on the board early but neither were able to get the ball past the others’ goalie.
That soon changed with just over 33 minutes remaining in the first half. Wyoming Area’s as Christina Kosco hustled down the line and sent a cross pass to an open Aleah Kranson who knocked the ball past Mustangs’ keeper Carli Marshall to give Wyoming Area a 1-0 lead.
Not long after that, the Warriors came back for more trying to extend the lead, but this time, Marshall was ready and put the brakes to their offense.
Eventually, Wyoming Area struck again with again Kranson making a splash as she launched a shot into the corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
“The first half was a lot cleaner than the second half,” Sitkowski said. “We played our game. We were able to go outside in which I enjoyed that. The girls went to the ball and that was the big difference. Second half, we struggled with that.”
The Mustangs for the majority of the first half not only struggled to score, but failed to get into their offense. But as the half went on, Midd-West finally began to attack the net creating chances, but were unable to score.
Midd-West’s offense came alive in the second half as it did not allow Wyoming Area much room to breath.
“I think we just had a really slow start maybe that’s a little bit of nerves,” Midd-West coach Lance Burris said. “But, we really brought it in the second half. We got a lot of numbers forward, we made some adjustments I thought were key for us and the girls just really responded.”
However, there was just one problem for the Midd-West offense: Warriors’ goalkeeper Lauren Kelly.
“My goalie played fabulous today her hands were great,” Sitkowski said. “Her angles were on. I expect that from her though.”
Shot after shot, attempt after attempt throughout the second half the Mustangs brought down heavy fire upon Kelly, but no matter what Midd-West did, Kelly was able to thwart them at every turn.
“We hit a post, we hit two or three right at their goalkeeper,” Burris said. “We had one just go wide, we really generated the chances that we needed to win the game. We just couldn’t get them to fall.”
Rylee Shawver finaly put one in the net cutting the lead to 2-1 with a little over seven minutes to play.
The Mustangs revved it up offensively in the final five minutes of the game, but the Wyoming Area defense bent, but did not break.
“I held my breath,” Sitkowski said. “Again, they overloaded us. We pulled it off. I don’t care what it looked like, it’s done.”
Wyoming (17-5) will play Boiling Springs, the District 3 runner-up, on Saturday.
FIRST HALF: Aleah Kranson (WA) from Christina Kosco, 33:08; Kranson (WA) unassisted, 20:33. SECOND HALF: Rylee Shawver (MW), 7:29.
Shots: MW 17, WA 9. Corners: MW 7, WA 3. Saves: MW 7 (Carli Marshall), WA 16 (Lauren Kelly)