WHS girls have second title in program history

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Williamsport girls soccer players pose with their medals after beating Delaware Valley for the district championship Thursday at Balls Mills.

After Williamsport’s players received their gold medals for winning a district championship, they stood around midfield with one another and the championship plaque, taking photos and really just taking in the moment.

The starters huddled for team photos, they took photos with fellow teammates, all the while their gold medals remained draped around their necks as the boys teams were practicing at both ends of the field for the second game of a doubleheader.

Some teams are used to winning numerous district championships in soccer, but for Williamsport, it’s a little new for the girls program. So excuse the girls for being excited and savoring every moment they can.

Thursday night’s 4-0 win over Delaware Valley was just the second district championship in program history and gave the Millionaires a repeat title in the District 2-4 Class AAAA championship.

Williamsport won its first girls district championship last year.

“It means everything to me. I have a great team that supported and helped me get to this district championship both years,” Williamsport senior Madison Bowman said. “I think it’s just getting the program started up. We’re just setting it up for everybody else. It’s going to keep happening.”

Both Williamsport and Delaware Valley went into the half scoreless with just three shots on goal. The Millionaires know they can use their speed to wear teams down, and that’s precisely what happened in the second half.

“Front runners and midfielders, we just attack and starts to wear defenses down because everybody was standing except for us for the last 12 minutes (in first half). Then we made adjustments at halftime,” Williamsport coach Scott McNeill said.

Those adjustments were simply concentrating on touches and continue to attack. And it worked quickly.

Just three minutes into the second half, Aaryka Goodwell had a great shot from near the goal line that Delaware Valley goalie Corrine Randazzo dove and blocked, but it remained in play. That’s when Sammy Reeder got to it and tapped it in for the 1-0 lead early in the second half.

Williamsport kept up the pressure, scoring just over two minutes later when Reeder tried sending a ball to the far post that Katie Penman chased down and finished for a 2-0 lead with 34:57 left.

“That really shut Del Val down. At beginning they were still in the game, but then after we scored those back-to-back goals, really set us up to win,” Bowman said.

Delaware Valley’s Reilly Henry had a handful of looks and chances in the first half, including firing all three of the Warriors’ first-half shots. With 11:02 to play until halftime, Henry took a shot from 15 yards out and tried sending it to her left, but Williamsport goalie Lila Vogelsong made a great diving stop to prevent a go-ahead goal.

“They’re a good team, I have utmost respect and stopped (Henry) to talk to her,” McNeill said. “Real hard worker. She was banged up twice and came back.”

Henry also had a breakaway four minutes into the second half, but Vogelsong slid to prevent a shot attempt.

Bowman scored the third goal with 23:14 to play when she got a ball from Penman and fired a great shot from eight yards out to the right post for a 3-0 lead.

The final goal came from Reeder, who had a breakaway from midfield, got past a Delaware Valley defender and had a 1-v-1 look and sent it from just outside the 6-yard box to the right post.

The Millionaires had 15 shots on goal, 13 of which came in the second half and Williamsport kept Delaware Valley in check the entire game, only yielding one shot on goal in both halves.

“First half we were just really timid at beginning, district championship is kind of intimidating but second half we just talked to everybody and said we need to get our energy up, talk more and possess,” Bowman said about the difference between halves.

W-Sammy Reeder (Aaryka Goodwell), 37:30. W-Katie Penman (Reeder), 34:57. W-Madison Bowman (Penman), 23:14. W-Reeder, 16:44.

Shots: DV 2, W 15. Corners: DV 6, W 5. Saves: DV (Corrine Randazzo) 11, W (Lila Vogelsong) 2.

Records: Delaware Valley (10-9-1), Williamsport (14-6).