3 girls score for Warriors in win
LEWISBURG — With just over 16 minutes to play, Montoursville’s Kyleigh Balint ran to the corner to take her corner kick for the Warriors. Balint ran and drilled the cross, sending it perfectly into the 6-yard box to Kaylie Schans, who was waiting for it. Schans quickly sent it just to her right past Lewisburg goalie Bethany Rippon for the third goal of the game.
With a two-goal lead over Lewisburg, Schans’ goal with 16:05 to play all but put the game away for Montoursville in a 3-0 win over the Green Dragons on a rainy Thursday afternoon at Lewisburg High School.
The loss eliminated Lewisburg from postseason contention just one year after the Green Dragons made it to the District 4 Class AA semifinals.
“This was the nail in the coffin, that’s it,” Lewisburg coach Jose Vega said.
Montoursville (11-3) came out in the second half with a bit more aggression offensively, firing twice as many shots on goal compared to the first half against Lewisburg (5-9-1). It took only eight minutes for the Warriors to create a shot as Kyleigh Balint got to within 15 yards and drilled a shot toward the middle of the goal for a 2-0 Montoursville lead.
“We just want to take a more offensive posture overall. We feel like our back line is solid enough that we can go ahead and start pushing. We’ve been a little offensively challenged this year,” Montoursville coach Vic Gorini said. “Coming into playoffs, we know we have to improve on and girls are just mentally are more excited to push up and score some more goals than we’ve been doing this year.”
After both teams exchanged a handful of shots and opportunities through the first half, Montoursville was the first team to get on the board when Caroline King broke open the scoreless contest.
From 10 yards out, King took her look and fired a shot toward the right post as Rippon came out, and managed to get the shot just past her and into the open goal.
Montoursville won the first contest with Lewisburg, 1-0, and Gorini knew scoring two or more goals against the Green Dragons is a bit of a relief knowing how capable they are of scoring an equalizer.
“Anything besides a one-goal lead is good against Lewisburg. I think this is first time we’ve ever beaten them by more than a goal in quite awhile, so that took a little pressure off, so we could play a little loose, we could settle in a bit more and that definitely helped,” Gorini said.
Lewisburg had a handful of chances to score throughout the game and had looks, but Montoursville’s back line and Avery Zales in goal kept the Green Dragons from scoring. The Green Dragons had only three shots of their 15 total shots — seven on goal — to come from within the 18-yard box.
“Sometiems you got to make it happen. A lot goes your way, but we have to be aggressive in the box, which we’re not. We don’t follow shots,we play well from 18 to 18, but we get in the box and we didn’t create chances,” Vega said. “Two shots, two goals and it’s tough to come back. We needed this. The girls knew coming on that every game was a playoff game, we need to win every one to make playoffs and it wasn’t to be. But they’re a good team.”
One of Lewisburg’s best chances to score in the first half came from Tatum Omlor, who fired a shot from 19 yards out that she sent fairly high, but Zales managed to catch it. Omlor and Allison Reed had a handful of looks throughout the game for Lewisburg.
In the second half, Omlor drilled what looked like a great shot from 20 yards out, but it hit off the crossbar near the left upper 90 and was sent out of bounds.
And while Montoursville did score three goals, the Green Dragons didn’t give the Warriors easy looks, especially from defender Chloe Michaels, who played solid against King, Balint, Schans and others from Montoursville.
“She’s been doing that all year. She’s clearly — and I’m talking to other coaches — the best defender in the league by far,” Vega said. “She’s so strong. She’s phenomenal. Easy to coach, she works hard, she’s a great leader. She doesn’t talk but she does it (with her play). She’s amazing.”
Montoursville 3, Lewisburg 0
M–Caroline King, 13:58. M–Kyleigh Balint, 32:46. M–Kaylie Schans (Balint corner), 16:05.
Shots: M 6, L 7. Corners: M 5, L 3. Saves: M (Avery Zales) 6, L (Bethany Rippon) 3.
Records: Montoursville (11-3), Lewisburg (5-9-1).