Lady Barons rally past Warwick in second half
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
The Warwick and Manheim Central girls soccer teams are in the same boat.
Both are young.
Both are trying to gain varsity experience on the fly.
Last Saturday, they met head-to-head and earned a little bit more valuable time at the varsity level, with Central overcoming a 1-0 second-half deficit to win 2-1 in a non-league game at Manheim’s Elden Rettew Field.
Chelsea Carper got the equalizer for the Lady Barons and then sophomore Olivia Novak scored the game-winner a short time later. Novak also cleared a ball off the goal line in the final minutes to help preserve the victory for the Lady Barons.
With the loss, the Lady Warriors slipped to 3-10 overall (1-8 Section One). Warwick coach Chrissy Casella was unable to be at the game due to a previous commitment, but got word from her assistants that the team showed some positive signs.
"We’ve been working on playing a full 80 minutes from the first whistle to the last whistle," Casella said. "We started strong, but didn’t really finish as strong as we could have."
The two sides were evenly-matched, as each generated seven shots on goals, and the game remained a scoreless tie at the half. Warwick’s Becca Formica and Central’s Emily Good both finished the game with four stops in goal.
Warwick had the game’s only corner kick in the second half, and they broke the stalemate when freshman Kate Martin finished on a header on a beautiful cross from senior Kristi Spotts midway through the stanza.
"We started the second half strong — we were really working together well and gelling as a team," Casella said, "but Central came back strong after the goal."
Indeed, Manheim Central coach John Shetromph was pleased with his squad’s ball movement in the game, and Chelsea Carper’s tally, from Jenna West, pulled the Lady Barons even 1-1.
"It was a really nice one-touch goal," Shetromph said. "I thought we played well. We moved the ball through space, we played on the carpet most of the time and I thought we had good movement. We had some really nice combinations, so it was nice to see."
It was also nice from the Lady Barons’ standpoint to see Novak score off of a loose ball following an initial shot by Kristin Robeson, and Novak’s goal stood up as the game-winner.
"Robeson took a shot and the goalie mishandled it and Olivia Novak cleaned it up," Shetromph said.
For the Lady Warriors, their second-half lead against the Lady Barons was one of the few times this fall that they’ve had the advantage. Casella noted that learning to play with a lead is part of their growing.
"There’s definitely an ebb and flow to the game of soccer and that’s part of the beauty of it," Casella said. "The momentum shifts and it’s a mental game to stay focused. In general, in a lot of our games, our opposition has done a good job of capitalizing on that momentary lack of focus. We have led this season not very often and leading a game is also a mental part of the game. When we were leading, it kinda took us off guard mentally, and again it comes back to our lack of varsity experience."
Although Warwick’s record isn’t what they hoped it would be, Casella sees a bright future for her squad.
"It’s still a joy to go to practice," she said. "Our record is not great, but every day when I go to practice, they brighten my day. I wouldn’t trade this team for any other team anywhere with a better record. I don’t want to take anything away from our seniors, but the future is bright. Many of the 13 freshmen have at least a little bit of varsity experience."
The MC girls carried the momentum from that win into their showdown on Monday against Section Two contender Ephrata and earned a big 1-0 shutout in Manheim. The victory improved Manheim Central to 4-6 in Section Two (5-7 overall).
Although the Lady Mounts held a slim 7-5 advantage in shots, the Lady Barons scored the game’s only goal, courtesy of West in the 20th minute, and Good finished with six stops to preserve the shutout.
"(Jenna’s goal) was a shot from about 20 yards out and it went up over the goalie’s hands into the top of the net," Shetromph said. "Very nice placed ball … I thought we had the better of play. We had more opportunities for shots than they did. There were some times that we got on our heels, and it took us a little while to get the ball out. But overall, I thought we played a very smart good game."
Prior to Monday, the third-place Ephrata girls had only two losses on their record, and Shetromph called it the Lady Barons’ best win of the season.
"Ephrata is a strong team," Shetromph said. "We attacked the ball well, we put together some nice combinations of one and two-touch play, and I thought we hustled quite a bit. We played a strong game. Ephrata’s a very good team. Ephrata may be the best team in the Section."
In other action, Central and Garden Spot played more than 75 minutes of scoreless soccer before Sheena Zimmerman scored with just 4:00 left to lift the Lady Spartans to a 1-0 victory in New Holland.
The Lady Barons had their opportunities with an 11-10 edge in shots, but GS keeper Kendra Delgado finished with eight saves. Good had five stops in goal for MC.
Warwick was also on the field last Thursday and they suffered a 5-1 loss to Conestoga Valley. The Lady Bucks took a 4-0 lead in the opening half to take command. Kate Mobley scored in the 44th minute on an assist from Sam Machin to get Warwick on the board.
Last Tuesday, Sept. 25, Manheim Township scored three second-half goals and went on to defeat Warwick 3-0 in Neffsville. Formica had five saves in goal for the Lady Warriors, who were outshot in the game 8-3.
Elsewhere, Cocalico took a 3-0 lead on Manheim Central last Tuesday and held on to defeat the Lady Barons 4-2 in Manheim. Robeson scored both of Central’s goals, twice pulling the team within two, but the MC girls could get no closer.
Cocalico had a slim 15-12 edge in shots in an evenly-played game and Good finished with four saves between the pipes. Nicole Hanselman, West and Morgan Hollinger all had assists for Manheim Central. More GIRLS SOCCER, page B-8