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Montoursville, Williamsport play to defensive-filled tie

Montoursville was waiting for an opportunity on a breakaway chance to try and score the game-winning goal. And halfway through the second overtime period, it appeared the Warriors had that chance.

Lily Saul got a breakaway attempt and got a 1 on 1 look with Williamsport goalie Lila Vogelsong just inside of the 18. Saul fired a great shot, but Vogelsong made an equally impressive dive to block it and stop it.

A collective groan could be heard as Montoursville knew that was an opportune chance to put the game away.

The Warriors and Millionaires left McCall Middle School on Monday afternoon with a 1-1 double overtime tie in a game that was a great defensive battle between the two schools.

“I thought we dominated the game and both overtimes, so not being able to get that final touch for a goal kind of sucked, but I think we played well overall and next time we’ll be sure to get them,” Montoursville senior midfielder Bella Masias said.

Saul’s breakaway was one of the few the sophomore had for Montoursville, as Williamsport’s Abigail Berthold marked her majority of the game and limited the sophomore.

Conversely, that is what Montoursville did from a defensive standpoint as well, marking speedster Katie Penman. Penman ended the game without a single shot and the Millionaires were held to just four shots on goal.

“We knew she was one of fast ones up top, so we always want to make sure we have a tight mark on her and not let her run because when she’s gone, she’s gone,” Masias said of Penman.

Masias scored the first goal of the game for Montoursville when she lined up for a penalty kick with 21:28 to play in the first half. Masias sent her shot to the right, just past Vogelsong for an early 1-0 lead.

But Williamsport answered right back and didn’t waste time. Just 79 seconds later, it was Kailee Helmrich who got a ball and fired a great shot to the left near post for an equalizer.

“I was just trying to stay positive for my team because it’s frustrating (letting up a PK) and I just had to keep the team positive,” Vogelsong said.

One thing both teams did well was limit their opposition’s shots. In the first half, there were a combined eight shots, just two — not including Masias’s penalty kick — came from inside the 18. In the second half and both overtime periods, only three of a combined 19 shots came from inside of the 18.

“We didn’t do anything special. We just tried to play real fundamental defense and make sure we were proactive with our positioning. That was the key today. It seemed to work, seemed to be effective,” Montoursville coach Vic Gorini said.

“Our defense did a good job making sure (threats) up top were contained,” Vogelsong said.

Both teams had opportunities with great looks, but the defenses wouldn’t let either team capitalize on them to pull ahead or score the game-winner in overtime.

In the first overtime period, Helmrich got a ball just outside the 18 and tried to send a shot under the crossbar, but had it just go high with 2:40 to play. In the second overtime, it was Montoursville’s Alaina Marchioni who got a loose ball outside of the 18 and tried a shot to the left post as Vogelsong was down after diving for a deflection. Marchioni’s shot went just wide, though.

With 4:30 left in the first half, Montoursville’s Cassady Wood had a hard shot from 20 yards out that she tried sending to the left, but Vogelsong had another solid diving stop to block it.

It was that type of game Monday afternoon as both teams had chances but couldn’t score, drawing oohs and aahs from players on the bench, coaches and fans in the bleachers.

A strong defensive game is what was to be expected between Montoursville and Williamsport. The two teams lead the area in least goals allowed so far this year, with the Warriors only yielding four goals and Williamsport allowing five entering Monday.

“Bella controls the midfield really well. It helps give confidence to the backline. Defensively, they’re just a strong unit. They have everything we’ve been looking for in defenders,” Gorini said. “They’re holding on all year. They’ve played a lot of tough forwards and they’ve held their own. We’ve given up what I would say are soft goals all year. We’ve given up unspectacular goals. We play well and then we give up a soft goal, but hopefully we kind of figure that out.”

Williamsport 1, Montoursville 1 (2 OT)

M–Bella Masias (penalty kick), 21:28. W–Kailee Helmrich, 20:09.

Shots: W 4, M 10. Corners: W 0, M 5. Saves: W 9 (Lila Vogelsong), M 3 (Avery Zales).

Records: Williamsport (5-0-2), Montoursville (4-0-2).

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