Defenders atone for rout in midseason

Losing to a team in soccer by eight goals in a shutout in the regular season can be hard to recover from and may have some teams questioning themselves. But that’s not Warrior Run, that’s not what the Defenders do.

Rather than let the loss bug them, the Defenders used it as a little bit of motivation heading into Balls Mills on Saturday afternoon against the very team that handed them that 8-0 loss: Southern Columbia.

“It really just propelled us forward and it really motivated us that we were going to come here today and give them all that we had because we missed that opportunity down at Southern, so we were going to bring it today,” Warrior Run goalie Megan Zimmerman said.

Seven minutes into the game, Warrior Run’s Paige Bowman had a shot from inside of the 18 and tried sending it to the far left post. As it slowly rolled, a Southern Columbia defender ran in and attempted to clear it, only to unfortunately hit it off the crossbar and in for an own goal.

It proved to be the difference as Warrior Run defeated Southern Columbia, 1-0, in the District 4 Class A quarterfinals to advance to play Bloomsburg on Tues­day at Hughesville at 6.

“We talked about finishing early, we know we’re going to get chances, we talked about if we finish early we can hold them to 1-0,” Warrior Run coach Jen Allen said. “We know we’re not going to rack up the score here but we’re going to play solid defense.”

Any time the Tigers got a look at all against Warrior Run, the Defend­ers swarmed to the ball like a bunch of angry bees when their hive gets disturbed and quickly prevented a solid shot.

Southern Columbia had just one shot in the second half and five total and while the Tigers did hold a shot advantage over Warrior Run (5-3), none of those looks were easy.

“We just hustled after every ball, we just didn’t give them time and that really disrupted their offense I think,” Allen said. “They’re definitely really talented in offense and we were able to just get in the way.”

The best chance South­ern Columbia had came with 13 minutes left to play when the Tigers set up for a free kick two yards outside the 18, but her shot at an equalizer went high over the net.

The Tigers had a chance in the first half when Paige Sharrow sent a nice shot inside of the 18 toward the left near post, but Zimmerman dove to block it. The ball stayed in play, but Southern’s Kari Cambria couldn’t get a good angle on the shot, sending it wide right.

“We definitely had some opportunities, but it happens,” Southern Columbia coach Derek Stine said. “Just like they put a piece of glass in front of goal, we couldn’t get it in the net.”

In the second half, Avery Bieber accounted for all three of Warrior Run’s shots and two shots on goal, all coming off of free kicks from outside of the 18.

Other than Cambria’s look in the first half off a shot deflection, the Defenders didn’t allow Southern Columbia to record a single shot from inside of the 18.

WR-Own goal, 33:38.

Shots: WR 3, SCA 5. Corners: WR 1, SCA 2. Saves: WR (Megan Zimmerman) 5, SCA (Hailey Reeder) 1.

Records: Warrior Run (11-6-2), Southern (15-4).