Vogelsong preserves Millionaires’ victory

Selinsgrove’s best chance to score an equalizer came with roughly four minutes remaining in the game. But Williamsport junior goalie Lila Vogelsong wasn’t planning on letting anything slip by her.

It was two quick shots from inside of the 18-yard box and Vogelsong didn’t have much time to think, just react. But Vogelsong’s probably used to those situations by now. A quick shot was fired form just inside of the 18 toward the center of the goal and Vogelsong dove and kept her hands in front to knock it down.

The ball wasn’t quite cleared out, and rolled to outside the six where another Selinsgrove player tried to rifle in a shot toward the near post. Vogelsong quickly got up and dove again to block it once more before it rolled out of bounds.

On a day where rain was coming down steadily, it was those type of goalie plays that were huge for Williamsport preserving a 2-1 win against Selinsgrove on Sunday morning at the Balls Mills Soccer Club and preventing an equalizer by the Seals.

“Two right there at the very end (were huge). She’s been working on her goal kicks and getting more distance and her punts are getting more distance,” Williamsport coach Scott McNeill. “I think the high school girls game, a lot of it is territorial. If you can keep people out of your end with the Katie Penmans, Kailee (Helmrich) and so forth and speed up there applying pressure, it’s all very territorial. So it’s huge if Lila can get the ball up on goal kicks.”

Vogelsong also made a great diving stop late in the first half that prevented a Selinsgrove goal. And although the ball did stay in play, Selinsgrove’s Lilian Poust couldn’t quite connect on a sliding shot to the far post that was eventually cleared.

Both teams played fairly evenly and were tied with seven shots on goal a piece, but Williamsport limited Selinsgrove’s chances throughout the game, and rarely allowed the Seals to get an open look at the goal.

In the first half, Poust and Madison Williard were the only two Seal players to get off shots as Selinsgrove had just two shots on goal early.

And that defensive pressure of not allowing Selinsgrove easy chances was huge for Williamsport to get the win.

“That was key. They use a target player there up front. I thought the key was shutting them down,” McNeill said, specifically noting Abigail Berthold’s ability to disrupt offenses. “She beat her to the ball all game long and that girl didn’t get a chance to get her foot on the ball. Abigail didn’t even let her turn. We yelled ‘no turn, no turn.’ Abigail loves that. She loves physical contact.”

Williamsport scored about four minutes into the game when Helmrich fed a nice ball to Katie Penman, who took it to about 8 yards out and let go a great shot toward the center of the goal just to the right of Selinsgrove’s keeper for the 1-0 lead.

Williamsport then added a goal in the second half with a penalty kick by Sydney Bruno, who tapped in a shot to the left post to put the Millionaires ahead, 2-0.

“I thought we came out gang busters the first 10 or so minutes. We came out really well after a tough loss to Loyalsock. We came out and pressured,” McNeill said. “We were down Sammi, but had … these younger kids come in and I thought they did a wonderful job.”

Williamsport avoided being shutout with 24:12 to play in the game. Jessica Smith got the ball just inside the corner of the 18-yard box and sent a great shot just to the right of Vogelsong to make it a 2-1 deficit.

But that would be the last chance Selinsgrove had to score other than the two quick shots with four minutes to go that Vogelsong broke up.

W–Katie Penman (Kailee Helmrich), 36:19. W–Sydney Bruno (penalty kick), 27:22. S–Jessica Smith, 24:12.

Shots: S 7, W 7. Corners: S 4, W 1. Saves: S (Becky Gingrich) 5, W (Lila Vogelsong) 6.

Records: Williamsport (2-1), Selinsgrove (3-1). Next game: Milton at Williamsport, Monday, 4:30 p.m.