Black Knights Keep Rolling
LEHMAN TWP. — Give it some time.
There was no panic after the first week of September, when Lake-Lehman struggled and lost its first two matches.
“We always start a little bit slow,” said junior forward Emily Smith, a member of Lake-Lehman’s district champion teams in 2016 and 2017. “It’s happened every year. But as we get further into the season, we start clicking, we start getting better, we become a better team.
“It takes a little bit. But we get there.”
The Black Knights kept rolling with Thursday’s 5-1 win over Wyoming Area, who entered unbeaten in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2. Smith, Madison Brdaric and Chloe Weaver led an offense that has scored a whopping 39 goals amid a five-game win streak.
Lake-Lehman outshot Wyoming Area, 17-5, and attempted six corners to the Warriors’ zero.
Had it not been for Aleah Kranson’s last-second goal and a solid performance by Wyoming Area goalkeeper Lauren Kelly, who had 13 saves, the score could have been even more lopsided.
“We put everything together today,” said Lake-Lehman head coach Kelly Adamshick. “We came in very confident in knowing that we could beat anybody. They really showed when they can control a ball, they control the whole entire game.”
It was a totally different result from earlier in the month, when Wyoming Area led by as many as three goals and finished with a 5-4 win against Lake-Lehman.
“I think we were a little nervous,” Smith said about the first game. “I hate to say that, but we were definitely a little bit nervous and we started slow.”
That lackluster 0-2 start wasn’t exactly shocking, however, given that the Black Knights were tasked with replacing two starting defenders, two forwards and a midfielder who all graduated.
Perhaps no area of the field was hit as hard as the forward line, which saw graduating Citizens’ Voice Player of the Year Mackenzie Love and all-star Amanda Ayers score 76 goals a year ago.
Lake-Lehman is now counting on a variety of scorers, and so far, it’s working.
Brdaric gave Lake-Lehman a 1-0 lead just under 10 minutes into Thursday’s game, when she beat a defender one-on-one to take possession of the ball merely yards away from the goal before kicking it in.
Weaver tacked on a goal via penalty kick a short time later, giving Lake-Lehman a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Smith scored both of her goals in the second half with Brdaric scoring another.
Kranson scored for Wyoming Area with 3 seconds left, but it was one of only four Warriors shots on goal.
“We didn’t mark her,” Adamshick said of Kranson, who’s scored 14 goals in league play this season and more than 100 in her career. “I think our defense has been playing that well, that it wasn’t necessary.”
Emma Stroud led the Lehman defense with four saves. She received a huge boost from the players in front of her, including Paige Motovidlak, Lauren Chapple and Kitt Patla.
Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Area are now both 4-1 in league play, with the losses coming against each other. Holy Redeemer leads WVC Division 2 at 5-0.
FIRST HALF: Madison Brdaric (L-L) from Chloe Weaver, 30:11; Weaver (L-L) penalty kick, 16:37. SECOND HALF: Emily Smith (L-L) from Weaver, 20:36; Brdaric (L-L) from Abby Paczewski, 12:32; Smith (L-L) from Weaver, 7:45; Aleah Kranson (WA) unassisted, 0:03.
Shots: L-L 17, WA 5. Corners: L-L 6, WA 0. Saves: L-L (Emma Stroud) 4, WA (Lauren Kelly) 13.
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