Williamsport's Erica Ludwikowski scored in the 66th minute of regulation Thursday evening to help the Millionaires upset Wyoming Valley West, 3-2, in the first round of the District 2/4 Class AAA girls soccer playoffs.
The Millionaires got goals from three players, including two in the first 20 minutes, to build a cushion.
Olivia Mendler scored at the 8:05 mark in the first half on an assist from her sister Devon Mendler to give Williamsport a 1-0 lead.
Amy Southard put Williamsport up, 2-0, in the 20th minute when she scored on a penalty kick after a hand ball was called in the penalty box on Valley West.
"We were a little shaky after the two-hour bus ride and I?wanted the younger girls to get the experience of playing in a district playoff game,"?Williamsport head coach Scott McNeill said. "Once we got a goal we relaxed and put the pressure on (Valley West)."
The Spartans cut the Millionaire lead to 2-1 with a goal from Alexis Pileggi in the third minute of the second half, but Williamsport responded with Ludwikowski's goal on an Olivia Caringi assist.
The playoff win came after a regular season in which the Millionaires won just two games, but because of the open tournament in District 2, Williamsport was able to get some playoff experience.
"We didn't win very many games, but we played well against Central Mountain and we lost to Selinsgrove in the last 6 minutes," McNeill said. "We've been playing with teams, we just didn't have the victories to show for it. We were trying to prove we can compete fairly well this year, but it's difficult to tell the girls you're getting all kinds of compliments from the coaches who are saying the program is looking really good when you continue to lose. Maybe this will help them believe."
Williamsport senior goalkeeper Reilly Gossner made three saves to make the lead stand.
"I'm really very happy for our seniors who have never played in a district playoff game," McNeill said. "I'm really pleased to get the seniors into the game and to get them a win, too."
Williamsport 3, Valley West 2
W-Olivia Mendler (Devon Mendler), 8:05; W-Amy Southard (penalty kick), 19:15; WVWAlexis Pileggi (Karissa Bevin), 48:31; W-Erica Ludwikowski (Olivia Caringi), 65:10; WVW-Kaitlin Hargave (Pileggi), 69:54
Shots: W 9, WVW?4. Corner kicks: W 6, WVW 2. Saves: W 3 (Reilly Gossner); WVW 6.
Record: Williamsport (3-15-1); Wyoming Valley West (8-7-1). Next: Williamsport at Abington Heights, 3:30 p.m., Monday.