West Branch girls blanked by Richland
Friday, October 25, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
HOLLIDAYSBURG - The West Branch girls soccer team fell in close contests in its previous three outings before Thursday's District 6 Class A semifinal game. And things didn't end the way the Lady Warriors would have liked against Richland.
The Lady Warriors fell behind 2-0 at halftime before giving up six second-half goals to fall to the Lady Rams, 8-0, at Tiger Stadium.
"We've had a difficult season to begin with, but to end up like this, I feel bad for the girls," said West Branch head coach Clark Dale. "They didn't deserve it. We just pretty much ran into a buzzsaw tonight.
"They fought their hearts out, but it's almost like Richland was playing with an extra person on the field. They were just everywhere. We're just going to go back to work next year and try to get back here."
Richland, which defeated Moshannon Valley with a late goal on Tuesday in the quarterfinals, quickly scored on the Lady Warriors as Karissa Wellington sprinted past a couple of West Branch defenders and shot past the Lady Warrior keeper. Sam Hauser was credited with the assist on the play.
Sophia Franze put in the second goal of the game on a high kick that the West Branch goalie leaped for. The keeper got her fingertips on the ball, but it was just out of reach as the Lady Rams took a 2-0 lead.
"All we've been doing is working on our offense and trying to finish goals and putting ourselves in a position to finish goals," said Richland head coach Nathan Gironda. "We've been getting closer and closer and closer, but as a group we haven't been scoring all year. I was really happy to see it finally click tonight.
"It was good for the girls because we have not scored a lot of goals this year. It was nice to finally get that explosion."
West Branch managed to get two shots in the second half and seven for the contest. Christie Sabol led the Lady Warriors with three.
"One thing is we're not used to playing on a field this wide," said Dale. "It's a lot longer and a lot wider and we're not used to that. That's no excuse or anything. They were able to use their wings to their advantage all night long.
"We just couldn't adjust. We tried making adjustments in the second half. They just didn't work."
Lady Ram goalie Courtney Syfert saved all seven shots.
"When we got a goal or two, I think the pressure just went away," said Gironda. "Once the pressure went away, they started finishing balls that they would not have finished earlier in the year, even two nights ago (against Moshannon Valley).
"I think there was a little bit of a confidence issue there. All of a sudden when they saw it work, they started doing it even more."
Senior Bri Meyer earned her first goal of the game just 2:03 into the second half on an assist from Wellington. Meyer ended the game with a hat trick, scoring back-to-back goals after Allison Patula and Sami Felton each put in a goal of their own.
Lady Ram senior Nikki Fisher scored with 58 seconds left in the game to set the final.
Shelby Medzie and Delanie Kolesar combined for 10 saves in goal for the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Rams (10-8-2) will play Bishop Guilfoyle on Tuesday in the district title game at a site and time to be determined. The Lady Marauders blanked Bishop McCort, 4-0, on Thursday evening.
"That's our goal every year. This will be our sixth district final in a row. If we're not here, we're not happy. It's nice to be there with a team that at some points this year, we didn't know if we were going to be there."
West Branch finished its season at 10-8-1. The contest was the last game in a Lady Warrior uniform for Sabol, Brianna Coval, Emilee Hoffower, Taylor Kolesar, Kaylee Myers and Haley Cowder. Cowder is a junior at West Branch, but will be able to graduate at the end of the school year.
"The seniors, every one of them, I'm so proud of them," said Dale. "I hate to see them go out like this, but every single one of them has been a gamer for me all year long. I've coached these girls since they were six or seven years old. We're going to miss them."
Richland 8, West Branch 0
1. Karissa Wellington, (Sam Hauser), 2:25.
2. Sophia Franze, (unassisted), 22:39.
3. Bri Meyer, (Wellington), 42:03.
4. Allison Patula, (unassisted), 54:54.
5. Sami Felton, (Nicole Miller), 57:15.
6. Meyer, (unassisted), 62:37.
7. Meyer, (S. Hauser), 71:35.
8. Nikki Fisher, (unassisted), 79:02.
Shots: Richland 19, West Branch 7.
Saves: Richland (Courtney Syfert) 7, West Branch (Shelby Medzie, Delanie Kolesar) 10.
Corner Kicks: Richland 1, West Branch 0.