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Curwensville's Skylar Redden takes a shot as Mo Valley's Kortney Wisor defends. Redden scored two goals, while Wisor netted one in the Lady Tide's 5-2 win. (Photo by Jim Butler)

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Lady Tide down Damsels
Thursday, October 18, 2007
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HOUTZDALE - The Curwensville and Moshannon Valley girls soccer teams both got what they were looking for Wednesday at Hilltop Stadium in the Lady Tide's 5-2 victory.

The playoff-bound Lady Tide were hoping to work out a few kinks in the offense as they point toward postseason play, while the young Damsels were simply looking for improvement as their season winds down.

"This gives us a good confidence-builder going into playoffs," Curwensville head coach Gary Thorp said. "There were a lot of positives that we can take into playoffs. I saw a lot of girls first to the ball tonight, rather than being second to the ball. I was real happy in that aspect."

"The girls played well," Mo Valley head coach Christi Manno said. "Curwensville shut us out last time, and we scored two this game, so for me that's an improvement. We are seeing a lot of improvement. I saw a few times where we had a passing game going on, which we haven't seen a lot of this year. Those small steps are exciting for us to see."

Curwensville cranked up the offense from the get-go, peppering Damsel keeper Megan Murarik with shot after shot.

The Lady Tide opened the scoring at 6:49 on the first of two Skylar Redden goals.

Redden beat Murarik to the near post after receiving a perfectly placed cross from Janea Stiles. Janessa Stiles started the play with a pass down the right wing to Janea.

Redden put Curwensville ahead, 2-0, at 24:13. Hannah Walls sprung Redden with a pass down the left wing. Redden collected the ball, dribbled in on Murarik and blasted the ball to the back of the net. The goal was the 49th of Redden's career.

"That will get her ready to go for playoffs," Thorp said. "She's real hungry. She's very close to 50 goals for her career, and I probably could have kept her in and allowed her to get that goal. But I think this will keep her very hungry going into playoffs."

Curwensville added its third goal a little over two minutes later when Walls chipped a shot over Murarik and just under the crossbar. Janessa Stiles assisted on the play. Walls had a goal and an assist in the game, which was her first in several weeks due to injury.

Thorp says Walls' presence in the lineup was a big boost to the team, especially the offense.

"We don't normally make any offensive fouls," Thorp said. "With Hannah in there, she got a foul right off the bat. Those are the kind of things we want ... good, aggressive play out of the front line.

"We haven't had that, but with Hannah in there, that gives us that dimension, which gets the defense on their heels."

With the three-goal cushion and a large advantage in shots and possession, Thorp began moving players around and mixing in jayvee players with his starters.

"Mo Valley played very hard," Thorp said. "Don't take anything away from them. They made us work for our goals early on. I think they lost their confidence a little after that. And we gained a lot of confidence. You could see that as the game went on. The girls wanted the ball at their feet. They wanted to help the team perform well."

The Lady Tide took a 4-0 lead at 31:41 when Tess Bloom, who usually plays defense, got her shot on the front line. She made the most of it, using her speed to beat the Damsel defense to a loose ball in front of the net and knock it home.

"One of the problems I think we've had is not a lot of speed up front," Thorp said. "If we can get some young people to move in and secure our defense, we may be able to use Tess' speed up front in the future. Tess is just a great athlete."

Janessa Stiles assisted on Bloom's goal, as her booming shot from outside the 18 was barely blocked, but not corralled, by Murarik. Bloom was there for the rebound.

"Janessa had a lot of nice touches," Thorp said. "She played stopper and had a shot from that position. She had a little more open space to work with, and it seems like she is more comfortable with the ball in that open space."

Mo Valley got on the board before the end of the half when Kailee Swoope picked up a loose ball at around midfield and outraced the Lady Tide defense to the Curwensville goal. Swoope beat Rachel Olszewski one-on-one to give Mo Valley its first goal at 37:59.

"Kailee does a fantastic job of that ... it's how she scores," Manno said. "She beats the defense with her speed and has a fantastic foot. She is definitely that adrenaline player for us."

Each team added a goal in the second half, courtesy of penalty kicks.

Marisa Lee booted the Lady Tide's goal at 55:41, while Kortney Wisor converted for the Damsels at 71:52.

"She has been dying to score a goal all year, and when that opportunity came up, we had to give to her with this being her senior year in the second-to-last game," Manno said. "She did a fantastic job."

Curwensville held a 31-4 advantage in shots and had nine corner kick opportunities, while the Damsels did not take any.

"They have very powerful shots," Manno said of Curwensville. "They can shoot from 20 yards out easily. Even their clears out of the back are nice up-and-over balls that get us on the run going the other direction.

"A lot of the girls also have good footwork, and with the young team that we have if you put an inexperienced defender up against someone with that kind of footwork, it's tough not to get beat."

Murarik made 15 saves for the Damsels. Olszewski, Sara Sidelinger and Jamie Rebar all spent time in goal for Curwensville.

Mo Valley (1-10-1) is back in action Tuesday, playing host to West Branch. Curwensville (14-6) finished its regular season and will return to action in the District 9 playoffs at a date, site and time to be determined.

Curwensville 5, Moshannon Valley 2
First Half
1. Skylar Redden, C, (Janea Stiles), 6:49.
2. Redden, C, (Hannah Walls), 24:13.
3. Walls, C, (Janessa Stiles), 26:55.
4. Tess Bloom, C, (Janessa Stiles), 31:41.
5. Kailee Swoope, MV, (unassisted), 37:59.

Second Half
6. Marisa Lee, C, (penalty kick), 55:41.
7. Kortney Wisor, MV, (penalty kick), 71:52.

Shots: Curwensville 31, Moshannon Valley 4.
Saves: Curwensville (Rachel Olszewski, Sara Sidelinger, Jamie Rebar) 2, Moshannon Valley (Megan Murarik) 15.
Corner kicks: Curwensville 9, Moshannon Valley 0.

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