Lily Saul’s late goal seals win for Montoursville girls vs. Selinsgrove
Lily Saul kept trying to find space between Selinsgrove’s defenders to make something happen. She had plenty of chances, but it seemed each time a shot was thwarted by a defender, or Selinsgrove’s goalie came up with a stop.
So after Selinsgrove tied the game at 2-all with 7 minutes to play, Saul and the Warriors knew that they needed to score to prevent overtime.
It took until just under 5 minutes were left, but Saul finally broke through.
With 4:38 to play, Saul got the ball just outside the 6-yard box and rifled a shot to the right post, just past the goalie’s fingertips.
That’s when Saul leaped in the air and celebrated with teammates.
Saul’s goal was huge for Montoursville, giving the Warriors an exciting 3-2 win at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.
“We needed one from somebody, so we were happy,” Montoursville coach Vic Gorini said.
“It was really huge because it was the game winner of course,” Saul said with a laugh. “It was a really big moment for us. … I was trying to get the shot and I kept missing and I was like ‘this has to be the one,’ and it was.”
Selinsgrove took an early lead with 25 minutes to play in the first half when Amsa Courtney sent in a perfect corner kick inside the 6 which Cierra Adams headed in for the 1-0 lead.
It was short-lived, however, as Montoursville tied the game up just 6 minutes later when Lydia Earnest fired a shot from outside of the 18. Earnest sent her shot just underneath the crossbar to tie it up.
The Warriors then took a 2-1 lead thanks to Emma Wood heading in a corner from Madison Moll just 37 seconds into the second half.
“We do corner simulation stuff all the time in different forms. We should score more than we do, as much as we do it,” Gorini said. “We do some game-oriented things and corner kick oriented things, so that helps.”
Montoursville nearly made it a 3-1 lead with 18:20 to play. Bryn Jacopetti had a direct kick a foot outside of the 18 and sent it to the left near post, but Selinsgrove goalie Kristen Yoder had a monster save to prevent the goal.
The Seals tied it at 2-2 when Ella Magee blasted her shot from 25 yards out toward the left post. Montoursville goalie Anna Baylor made a spectacular diving stop to get her fingertips on the ball, but it hit off the post and rolled in.
The Warriors possessed majority of Tuesday’s contest, not letting Selinsgrove shift much momentum. The Seals were limited to just five shots on goal while Montoursville fired off 15 — eight in the second half. Of Selinsgrove’s five shots on goal, only three came from inside the 18.
While Magee scored in the second half off a direct kick, Montoursville did an excellent job from a defensive standpoint preventing the junior from getting inside the 18 and firing off shots. Magee entered Tuesday’s game with a team-high 10 goals and seven assists for the Seals.
“We try to make sure someone’s putting pressure on and others are dropping off. If we don’t communicate, then they get us flat and get us split,” Gorini said. “As long as we communicate and are dropping the passing lanes, we have to be patient and just wait to hopefully steal the ball on one of their back touches.”
“We have a really young defense and they’re really talented, so I can’t wait to see what they’ll do when I graduate,” Saul said. “They’re really solid.”
That defensive pressure keeping Magee outside the 18 came from the backline foursome of Peyton Bragalone, Natalie Reeder, Natalie Bennett and Wood.
Magee had a great shot from 30 yards out off a direct kick with 8:28 to play in the first half and sent a curving shot to the right only to see Kierstyn Dawes catch it high.
One of Montoursville’s best chances to score came with 4:27 to play until halftime. Saul took a ball to just outside the 6 and cut to her left. The senior tried firing a shot, but Selinsgrove’s keeper managed to get her foot out to force the ball out wide.
Montoursville 3, Selinsgrove 2
S-Cierra Adams (Amsa Courtney corner), 25:00. M-Lydia Earnest, 18:40. M-Emma Wood (Madison Moll corner), 39:23. S-Ella Magee, 7:00. M-Lily Saul, 4:38.
Shots: MS 5, M 15. Corners: S 1, M 3. Saves: S 12 (Kristen Yoder), M 4 (Kierstyn Dawes 3, Anna Baylor 1).
Records: Montoursville (12-1-1), Selinsgrove (6-6-2).