ALLPORT —Lauren Timblin scored a pair of goals — one in each half — bookending a goal by Sara McClelland, to lift the West Branch girls soccer team to a 2-1 victory on Thursday afternoon.
Timblin scored early in the first half, burying a shot from 30 yards out at 8:28 to give the Lady Warriors a 1-0 advantage, then found the back of the net at 54:22 in the second half to break a 1-1 tie.
Mariah Hayles assisted on both goals with the second coming from a nifty short pass just outside the 18 to play Timblin in and give her the chance for the scoring strike.
Lady Warrior forwards Emmie Parks and Olivia Straka were also key in pressuring the Damsel defense to help set up the chances.
“Thanks to some good battles up front by Olivia Straka and Emmie Parks, Lauren Timblin was presented two great opportunities and she capitalized,” West Branch head coach Angie Fenush said. “Our team has battled the last couple games very closely and defensively and the hard work is showing as we came out on top in today’s contest.”
West Branch had more possession in the first half, but Mo Valley countered with several strong runs and the teams nearly matched one another on shots on goal over the first 40 minutes.
The Lady Warriors had seven, while the Damsels recorded six. McClelland had four of the six Mo Valley shots in the first half and tied the game at 38:36 when Summer Adams made a quick pass to play her into the box where she fired the ball past West Branch keeper Sarah Betts.
“I thought it was typical backyard rival between West Branch and Mo Valley,” Fenush said. “We held possession for a lot of the game but didn’t capitalize on opportunities and they made the most of the little opportunities we gave them.
“Our advantage was the game was mostly played in the middle of the field and I thought out midfielders (Trin Prestash and Mariah Hayles and middle defenders (Madison Kephart And Eleyna Hanslovan) really controlled the game.”
The game opened up a bit in the second half with each time getting solid chances, but Betts, who ended up with seven saves, and Damsel keeper Tessa Switala, who stopped 13 shots, were up to the challenge.
Switala kept the game even when she stopped a point-blank rebound shot off the foot of Parks seconds after knocking away a booming shot by Leah Heller.
But the Lady Warriors were able to take the lead on Timblin’s shot in the 15th minute of the second half and West Branch held on for the win.
“The game was close all the way through,” Damsel head coach Brian Wicker said. “Both teams had their chances to score and West Branch came out on top. It’s always a good match with them and I look forward to the end of the season when we play them again in another hard-fought match.
West Branch evened its record at 2-2-1, while Mo Valley slipped to 1-5.
The Damsels are back in action Saturday morning, playing host to Bald Eagle Area.
The Lady Warriors host Philipsburg-Osceola on Monday.
West Branch 2,
Moshannon Valley 1
1. Lauren Timblin, WB, (Mariah Hayles), 8:28.
2. Sarah McClelland, MV, (Summer Adams), 38:36.
3. Timblin, WB, (Adams), 54:22.
Shots: Moshannon Valley 13, West Branch 19.
Saves: Moshannon Valley (Tessa Switala) 13, West Branch (Sarah Betts) 7.
Corner kicks: Moshannon Valley 4, West Branch 5.