TURBOTVILLE - If two leagues games and a Heartland Athletic conference crossover contest against a team many believe will qualify for the postseason are a test, consider it aced by the Warrior Run girls soccer club.
The Defenders received a goal from Taylor Landis, and Olivia George and the backline were once again stellar as Warrior Run defeated Lewisburg 1-0 Saturday morning in near perfect weather.
It was a physical contest between two perennial powers, which have a very good chance of meeting in the postseason since Warrior Run's promotion into Class AA. .
"We knew coming in what we were going to get," Lewisburg coach Jose Vega said. "I saw two evenly-matched teams and credit to them, they got the goal. Warrior Run played well and is a great, physical team."
There was plenty to cheer about throughout the game on both sides of the field.
Emily Cole paced the Green Dragons' offense and recorded four of the team's seven shots on goal. She nearly cashed in after a short goal kick into the wind by Olivia George gave the Dragons a throw-in near the Defender goal. The goal kick curled toward the sideline once it got into the air, setting up a Lewisburg throw 10 yards outside of the 18-yard box.
The throw-in set up Cole for a perfect opportunity to center a low rolling shot onto goal that was scooped up by George.
Despite trailing for the majority of the contest, Lewisburg (2-1) continued to attack, nearly scoring on a few breakaways that were thwarted by George and the defense.
"I'm really proud of my team, especially the way they responded," Vega said. "We created chances and the goalkeeper made a couple really good saves."
George, who recorded her third clean sheet of the week, was challenged again in the half when Cole tapped a volley over her head. The shot went wide, but gave the Green Dragons the first of three first-half corners. George, who is only a freshman, has shown improvement in each of the team's games, and displayed a level of fearlessness Saturday, jumping into traffic for 50/50 balls.
"She had two really great saves," Warrior Run coach Jen Allen said. "She comes out of the goal and I think she's a really great player."
Lewisburg nearly scored in the 32nd minute when a flurry in front of the net produced two shots on goal. George received a gift when Cole's shot bounced off the post. The ball deflected back to Cole, who sent another shot on target, catching George out of position from the initial shot. It wasn't the post that saved the day on the shot, it was Sarah Grow this time, who came up from midfield to make the block and hold Warrior Run's 1-0 advantage.
"Chloe (Eisenhuth) and "Tilly" (Grow) are just so patient and they control the middle and settle down and make passes," Allen said. "Chloe saw them pushing up so she split the offense in the first half and sent that ball to Taylor."
Warrior Run's (4-0) lone goal came when Eisenhuth found Landis streaking through the center of the defense. Eisenhuth hit a perfect ball up to Landis, who managed to stay onsides and beat the keeper with a low right-to-left shot to the corner of the goal.
"The whole time Lewisburg was stepping up and trying to trap us offsides and I just saw Taylor running and sent it through the hole," Eisenhuth said. "I just put my head up and saw her. It's nice to have somebody to look for that will get to the ball if you send it to her. I don't worry about her getting to the ball, she has the speed."
WR-Taylor Landis (Chloe Eisenhuth) 20:24.
Shots: L 10 WR 12. SOG: L 7 WR 9. Corners: L 5 WR 2. Saves: L 8 (Sienna Fisher) WR 6 (Olivia George). Fouls: L 12 WR 8.
Records: Lewisburg 2-1. Warrior Run 4-0.