Young WHS girls top Garden Spot

By on September 6, 2017
Warwick senior Lily Shaffer (left) battles a Garden Spot defender while looking to create a scoring opportunity last Friday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Warwick senior Lily Shaffer (left) battles a Garden Spot defender while looking to create a scoring opportunity last Friday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

It didn’t take long for the Warwick girls soccer team to face some adversity last Friday.

When Garden Spot’s Lindsey Sweigart scored in the 7th minute last Friday, the score was tied 1-1.

For a young Lady Warrior squad which has two freshmen and six sophomores playing varsity, it was a key moment in their season opener.

“It can go one of two ways,” Warwick coach Wendell Hannaford said. “You break down, you don’t trust each other, or as this group has shown me since day one of pre-season, day one of summer sessions and throughout the year, they’re not going to let breakdowns happen and they’re going to band together when they face a little adversity.”

Sure enough, freshman Jess Williamson snapped the tie with 2:08 left in the first half, then freshman Caroline Hipple added an insurance tally in the second, as the Warwick girls knocked off GS 3-1 in a non-league battle in Lititz. Senior Talia Bertrando also scored, while Lily Shaffer and Emily Williamson added assists for the Lady Warriors, who outshot Spot 11-6 in the game.

The Lady Spartans are coming off a 2016 season in which they qualified for the L-L and District Three playoffs.

“Our young players are getting a lot of time and our young players are stepping up,” Hannaford said. “It was the first game today where something mattered, there were nerves, and that’s to be expected, especially when you’re as young as you are … We scored four against LMH. Two games, seven goals, we’re finishing, not letting up many chances, so just their composure after being nervous as young kids, that’s impressive. That’s tough to do.”

Bertrando opened the scoring when she beat GS keeper Marissa Spacht (8 saves) with 6:15 elapsed.

Less than a minute later, Spot’s Sweigart picked up the equalizer.

But at that point, Hannaford noticed that his players seemed to relax and get on with business.

“I think it calmed them down a little bit,” he said, “and we were able to play a little bit more and they stayed in touch and stayed together.”

Eventually, with 37:52 elapsed in the first half, Williamson ripped a shot that glanced off the underside of the crossbar and over the goal line to give Warwick a lead it never relinquished.

“Things we’ve been working on,” Hannaford said, “have been getting the ball wide and not being predictable — getting crosses, taking shots outside the 18, and through balls slipping in behind the defense. The girls made the good adjustments, the girls were the ones out there playing. They were the ones that struck the ball well, so it’s on the girls making that adjustment and taking the proper shot.”

For the game, Warwick held a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks while creating a number of scoring opportunities against the GS girls. Goalkeeper Cat Reed finished with four saves for Warwick.

It remained a one-goal game, though, until Hipple went top shelf against Spacht in the 54th minute to provide a key insurance tally for the Lady Warriors.

“After 20 minutes into the game, I think we were really dominating play,” Hannaford remarked. “The ball movement, passing, we were connecting, and we created a lot of opportunities. It easily could have been three, four more goals. So the opportunities were there.”


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