West Branch clinches spot in ICC title game with win over NB|
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
ALLPORT - It was imperative for two reasons that the West Branch girls soccer team took care of business on Monday afternoon.
Monday was the last day to improve playoff seedings, as points will not count for the rest of the regular season. And perhaps even more importantly, a win earned the Lady Warriors a spot in the Inter-County Conference championship.
Check and check.
Emilee Hoffower and Christie Sabol each scored a hat trick against Northern Bedford, while the West Branch defense put together a solid effort to defeat the Lady Panthers, 6-1.
West Branch will host the ICC title game on Saturday. A time and an opponent are to be determined.
"That's big," said Lady Warrior head coach Clark Dale. "It was one of our goals. Of course, we won it last year and we definitely want to do it again. That was one of our goals from the start."
West Branch cracked the scoreboard very early in the game as Hoffower received a pass from Liz White off a throw-in. White found Hoffower to her left, and Hoffower sent the ball home for the quick score.
Just over five minutes later, White found herself with two opportunities to score. Charging toward the goal, White shot twice as the ball deflected off the Lady Panther goalkeeper. Sabol was there for the rebound to give West Branch a 2-0 lead at the 6:28 mark.
Sabol earned her hat trick just 20:09 into the game. Hoffower had the assist on Sabol's second goal, while White tacked on another assist on the third.
"They all had a good day," said Dale of Hoffower, Sabol and White. "Liz didn't score, but she had a couple assists. All three of them played really well."
"I asked the girls if they can see what we're capable of and they said they did. Hopefully they will continue this."
Not showing any signs of fatigue coming back in the second half, Hoffower put in another quick score. A Lady Warrior shot hit off of a Northern Bedford defender, and Hoffower was there on the deflection to send the ball in the net, just under two minutes into the second half.
The Lady Panthers finally made their way into the scoring column at 54:41 as Bethany Cronrath hit a header from the help of Jillian Bottenfield.
Just moments after the Lady Panther goal, Northern Bedford earned a penalty kick. Cronrath took the shot, but Lady Warrior keeper Javannah Klingler caught the attempt to keep the game at 5-1.
"Javannah's save on that PK was huge," said Dale. "They had scored a goal and not long after that, they had the PK. If she gives that PK up, the momentum shifts and we could've had a game on our hands. That's the fourth PK she's saved this year. That's just outstanding."
Northern Bedford only attempted nine shots on goal, while West Branch shot 32 times. Klingler and Delanie Kolesar combined for eight saves.
"The defense was outstanding," said Dale. "I was really happy with Delanie, Hailey (Shimmel), Rebeka (Golding) and Kaylee (Myers) back there on defense. They really did well. But it was a team effort and I'm proud of them."
Hoffower scored her hat trick on a free kick late in the second half. Sabol took the kick and found Hoffower in the middle of the field. Hoffower kicked the ball while it was still in midair and into the right side of the goal.
Despite a rough road to get to where they are, Dale believes there is still plenty of good soccer for the Lady Warriors to play.
"We had a real rough stretch in the middle of the season when we had a lot of girls that were hurt," he said. "We're starting to get them back. We're still waiting on Haley Cowder. Once she gets back, she's going to be a big help for us."
"It wasn't the full 80 minutes, but that's the best game we put together this year by far. Hopefully they see what they're capable of. They looked good. There was a few times where they let up, I think. Other than that, it was a well-played game."
West Branch improved its record to 9-7 on the season. The Lady Warriors host Bishop Guilfoyle on Thursday.
West Branch 6, Northern Bedford 1
1. Emilee Hoffower, WB, (Liz White), 1:01.
2. Christie Sabol, WB, (unassisted), 6:28.
3. Sabol, WB, (Hoffower), 12:38.
4. Sabol, WB, (White), 20:09.
5. Hoffower, WB, (unassisted), 41:54.
6. Bethany Cronrath, NB, (Jillian Bottenfield), 54:41.
7. Hoffower, WB, (Sabol), 66:19.
Shots: Northern Bedford 9, West Branch 32.
Saves: Northern Bedford (Morgan Eshelman) 20, West Branch (Javannah Klingler, Delanie Kolesar) 8.
Corner kicks: Northern Bedford 3, West Branch 6.