Moshannon Valley girls trimmed by Richland, 1-0|
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
RICHLAND - The Moshannon Valley girls soccer team just never got its offense in gear on Tuesday evening in the District 6 Class A quarterfinals against Richland.
The sixth-seeded Damsels registered one shot in the game as they fell to the Lady Rams, 1-0, in Mo Valley's first playoff game since the program's inception in 2000.
Still, Moshannon Valley girls head coach Matt Kephart said his players should hold their heads high after setting the new school wins record before playing in their regular-season finale today.
"It is just the beginning," said Kephart. "Wait until next year. We have a pile of girls coming up in eighth grade. Our junior high team went 5-1 this year, and the one loss they had to play down. We have talent coming up.
"I don't want to take anything away from the girls this year. I've been telling them all year it's the first year (going to playoffs) for them, and there's going to be many more to come, especially for the underclassmen. I'm really excited."
The Lady Rams got their lone goal with just under 11 minutes to go in the game. Richland junior midfielder Nicole Miller found forward Allison Patula from the middle of the field. Patula got through a couple of Mo Valley defenders and drilled the ball past the Mo Valley keeper for the go-ahead goal.
Richland just missed a goal moments earlier as Karissa Wellington's shot banged off the crossbar. The ball bounced back to another Lady Ram, but the rebound sailed high of the goal to keep the match scoreless.
"I think I actually blacked out right there," said Kephart. "I think my heart stopped. Moments like that are exciting when the ball is bouncing in front of the net. We wish we could've had it bounce around in front of their net a little bit more today."
Richland controlled the tempo for the majority of the contest and never allowed the Damsels to get into a rhythm. Mo Valley goalie Brittany Oliver saved a pair of goals in the first half, including a two from a duo of Richland players after leaving the net to chase the ball.
The sophomore recorded 17 saves for the Damsels.
"Brittany was our MVP today," said Kephart. "That's without a doubt. This was her best game of the year, and what a day to come up."
"(Oliver) played beautifully. Our defense played beautifully. Our midfield played beautifully. It's just one of those days where we left it all out on the field and we came up just short. That's the way it happens sometimes."
Brita Campbell recorded the lone shot for the Damsels five minutes into the second half. But the Lady Rams continued at their pace of play and held the ball in Mo Valley territory again for much of the second half.
"They had a really stout midfield," said Kephart. "We could never get to that second level. Hat's off to their defense and their midfielders. They never misplayed it. It was tough to get some pressure.
"It's different playing on turf. It's our second time playing on turf all year. It's our first time playing in the playoffs. It's the first time to get this many wins. It's a lot of firsts tonight."
After the goal from Patula, Richland once again held the ball in Damsel territory and got two shots on goal in the final 10 minutes.
Mo Valley had one final push with just 10 seconds left. Junior midfielder Wynter Adams got the ball just past midfield with only one Richland defender to beat, but time ran out before Adams could get off a shot.
Richland, which is the No. 3 seed, faces second-seeded West Branch on Thursday at a site and time to be determined.
Mo Valley (8-8-1) will finish its season tonight when it hosts Grier School for Senior Night.
Richland 1, Moshannon Valley 0
1. Allison Patula, (Nicole Miller), 69:04.
Shots: Moshannon Valley 1, Richland 21.
Saves: Moshannon Valley (Brittany Oliver) 17, Richland (Courtney Syfert) 1.
Corner Kicks: Moshannon Valley 0, Richland 4.