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Freshman Kilbride scores twice for Dragons

LEWISBURG — It didn’t take long for Lewisburg to start putting pressure on Loyalsock. Less than four minutes into the game, the Green Dragons already had an excellent shot attempt come from just oustide of the 6-yard box that was blocked.

It was an offensive pressure that Lewisburg kept up throughout the game and eventually, something was going to happen.

That offensive production came from the foot of freshman Sophie Kilbride.

Kilbride rifled a great shot that she snuck underneath the crossbar from just outside of the 18 in the first half to help set the tone in Lewisburg’s 3-0 win over Loyalsock at Lewisburg on Saturday afternoon.

“She’s just a go-getter. She runs endlessly and physically and is not afraid of it, you know what I mean?” Lewisburg coach Terry Gerlinski said. “She’s a key outside, up top, in the middle. That’s how she works. She’s been a solid piece of our puzzle.”

“She’s huge. She brings new things to our team and energy. She’s spunky. We love having her,” Lewisburg senior Chloe Michaels said. “She makes things happen and her and Ella (Reish) work really well up top with crosses, small passes and small touches. She’s huge for us.”

Kilbride ended the game with two goals and her second one was thanks to her following through on a deflected shot and being in the right spot.

After Reish had a great shot from inside the 6 blocked by Loyalsock goalie Mari Houseknecht — who ended the game with 10 saves — the ball stayed in play and Kilbride was in the perfect position inside of the 6. The freshman quickly tapped a shot just inside of the near left post to give the Green Dragons a 2-0 lead with 34:32 to play in the game.

Lewisburg made it a three-goal lead 11 minutes later. Reish fed a great ball to sophmore Madison Cardello, who scored near the left post to make it a 3-0 game with 23:03 remaining.

Loyalsock wasn’t able to get a lot of offensive chances, ending the game with just two shots on goal, both of which came in the first half. One of the Lancers’ best chances to score came with 25:32 left when Elisa DiNicola got a through ball and dribbled to inside the 18 and fired a great shot to the right only to see Lauren Gross block it and prevent an early go-ahead goal.

The Lancers’ other shot on goal came from just outside the 18 on a shot that Gross came out and scooped out as it rolled toward her.

“That’s kind of been the story of our season, we defend well but you can’t defend for 80 minutes and expect to win a game,” Loyalsock coach Ben Comfort said. “Just something we have to improve on in the future. I’d rather be able to possess the ball and defend that way then just sit back and defend for 80 minutes.

“Weren’t really connecting well through the midfield.”

Lewisburg possessed the ball nearly the entire game, rarely allowing the Lancers to get the ball and try to create a scoring opportunity.

“I think we connected a lot of our passes, which is huge. Terry (Gerlinski) always stresses ‘win the middle,’ so today I think we won the middle,” Michaels said. “We got our passes to our feet, we didn’t play a lot of in the air, we didn’t play a lot of over-top balls. Just those small passes and small things he stresses.”

Michaels nearly scored a handful of times off free kicks. She drilled one shot that ricochetted off the right post, narrowly avoiding going for a goal. She then booted a free kick from near midfield that Houseknecht put a hand up to block after a high bounce inside the 6-yard box.

Lewisburg 3, Loyalsock 0

Le–Sophie Kilbride, 12:49. Le–Kilbride, 34:32. Le–Madison Cardello (Ella Reish), 23:03.

Shots: Lo 2, Le 17. Corners: Lo 1, Le 11. Saves: Lo 10 (Mari Houseknecht), Le 2 (Lauren Gross).

Records: Loyalsock (3-11, 2-6 HAC-III), Lewisburg (11-4-1, 6-3-1 HAC-II). Next games: Bloomsburg at Loyalsock, Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Jersey Shore at Lewisburg, Thursday, 4 p.m.

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