Carley Engel prevented a halftime speech filled with words like "disappointment" and "lack of finishing" when she connected with a shot over the keeper's head with less than 10 minutes left in the first half of Tuesday's game.
South Williamsport racked up 18 first half shots, with six going on target. And, for all intents in purposes, South Williamsport looked like it would be knotted in a scoreless draw as it headed into halftime.
Engel changed that with her first-half goal. She then added another in the opening minutes of the second half as South Williamsport defeated St. John Neumann, 5-0, at South Williamsport Park.
Carley Engel of South Williamsport, right, scores as teammate Cyra Sterner (21) looks on. Defending for Neumann are keeper Rebecca Helminiak, Catherine Mertes (13) and Isabelle Gabinsky?(17). View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
"They have to capitalize on their chances," South Williamsport coach Elizabeth Deljanovan said. "They recognize them and we practice them. It's just going to be a matter of converting them. You never know how many you're going to get."
The Mountaineers (4-3) had plenty of chances to score throughout the contest, but really struggled to put any away until a late flurry to end the first half.
Laura Rook, who missed wide twice in the opening 40 minutes, sent a nice ball into the box for Cyra Sterner. The resulting shot went wide and started a theme for South Williamsport, which set up perfect scoring chances, but couldn't finish.
South Williamsport earned plenty of chances, especially on crosses from either side of the 18-yard box. Rook, whose miss in the opening 10 minutes sparked a flurry of crossing attempts that would go wide or high over the goal, notched the Mounties second goal of the first half when she headed a pass from Kelcey Coppola to the far post.
Rook's score, which came less than two minutes after Engel broke through for the team's first goal, helped the South Williamsport bench relax a bit as the pressure of being limited to one goal finally ended despite its shots advantage.
"When you get chances in a game you have to take advantage," Deljanovan said. "That's the difference. You can dominate the whole game and if you don't finish on those chances it doesn't matter."
With all the traffic in front of the Knights (0-7) net, Rebecca Helminiak did her best to keep the game within reason. The sophomore keeper stopped seven shots on target and came out of her net to grab crossing attempts, as well.
But, with a constant threat of shooters in front of the net, Helminiak wasn't able to keep everything out of the goal. Jen Jackson and Engel managed to punch goals in for the Mounties in the opening five minutes of the second half.
Jackson tallied on a quality distant shot that was mishandled by Helminiak, who nearly prevented the goal, but lost control of the ball when it hit the ground. The Knights received another unlucky bounce moments later when Engel controlled a loose ball in front of the net to score her second goal on the day. Sydney Blosser rounded out the scoring when she collected a rebound in front of the net for the tap in goal.
SW-Carly Engel (unassisted), 31:11; SW-Laura Rook (Kelcey Coppola), 33:26; SW-Jen Jackson (unassisted), 42:07; SW-Engel (unassisted), 43:37; SW-Sydney Blosser (unassisted), 55:00.
Shots: SJ 4 SW 31. Shots on goal: SJ 3 SW 12. Corners: SJ 0 SW 9. Saves: SJ (Rebecca Helminiak) 7 SW (Morgan Bower) 3.
Records: South Williamsport 4-3. St. John Neumann 0-7.