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Lewisburg applied pressure to Oley Valley Saturday in the 2022 PIAA Class 1A quarterfinal game, but it spurred the Lynx to rise to the occasion.
After two quarters of play, the score was even at 1-1. But after halftime, the Lynx began to run up the score to their inevitable 5-1 win.
Oley Valley advances to the semifinal round against Wyoming Area Tuesday. Lewisburg’s season ended Saturday.
The Lynx began ripping off shots in the third. And, that’s when they started to see the results, having scored three more goals.
“We needed to put the gas pedal down – it’s States,” junior defender Morgan Snyder said.
Mia Woodward and Abby Thompson were part of the scoring push. At the start of the third, they worked the ball up the right sideline. From their run, senior midfielder Alexandra Lopez reached for a passed ball inside the circle. She was able to get a touch on it and send it past Lewisburg goalie Keeley Baker, where Liv Thompson finished it.
“I just work for my team and get them any chance and opportunity to score and work off of each other,” the Shippensburg University commit said. “I don’t do it alone. I do it with my side mids, and I do it with my backs and half-backs, and obviously I feed the ball to my forwards. We all play very well together and know how to move the ball off of each other.”
Lewisburg was struggling to make quick adjustments to the Lynx’s new-found post-halftime fire. The Green Dragons used their 90-second timeout in the third to try to quell the Lynx force.
With five minutes remaining in the third, Liv Thompson earned her second score. It started with a give-and-go combination between Lopez, Taylor Vacarro, and Isabella Buehler. Buehler sent a pass to the top left side of the circle where Liv Thompson was unmarked. She fired it in the cage to make it 4-1 before the final 15 minutes of the game.
Coming from behind and winning isn’t a problem for Oley Valley. Lewisburg may have cracked the cage first, four minutes into the game, but that ended up being the team’s only point.
Maddy Moyers scored it, and Whitney Berge assisted. The lead didn’t last long though.
“It did feel very good to get on the board first,” Lewisburg head coach Tonya Berge said. “And I thought maybe that would give us some type of confidence to move forward. It just wasn’t our day today.”
Once the Lynx picked up their game, the effort was high-level, Oley Valley head coach Tiffany Cappellano said.
“We scored some of the nicest goals I’ve ever seen in high school,” Cappellano said.
Woodard, who was a resourceful player all over the field, created scoring opportunities for the Lynx. Most of them were in the second half.
“As a forward, I try to be by the baseline as much as possible,” Woodard said. “Especially on the post so I can get those tips in, and I feel like I’m usually there.”
Oley Valley started to play much more physically once they started to edge out Lewisburg. Lauren Habakus was green carded for pushing.
Lopez was yellow carded for the same reason. The Lynx had to play 9 v 11 for 30 seconds as timing overlapped.
Oley Valley had two green, two yellow, and Lewisburg had one green. Lopez said her card affected her “a little bit,” but she also saw it as an opportunity to “reset.”
“I was just like, ‘Take a step back,’” Lopez said. “‘Take a breather and reset. Keep playing my game how I normally play and be there for my teammates.’”
As Lopez’s card wound down, Oley Valley earned a corner. Vacarro, a University of Delaware commit, angled her stick just right and tipped the ball past Baker into the top right corner of the net. Snyder had the assist.
“They did a very good job, (Lewisburg), of coming out and really being aggressive, really putting the pressure on,” Cappellano said.
Setting the tone in the first quarter is something the Lynx struggled with this season. The second quarter was “a little bit back and forth” with “a lot played within the 25,” Cappellano said.
“At halftime, we were like, ‘We need to take a deep breath and we need to regroup. We need to focus on the positives and the things that we’re doing and figure out how to fix the things that aren’t working,’” she said. “And I think that deep breath and that 10 minutes of halftime gave us a chance to really reset our mindfulness and was able to put us in a really good position going into the third quarter.”
In preparation for playing Lewisburg, the first-seeded team from District 4, Cappellano said her team liked “to keep our focus on ourselves.”
“If we take care of the things that we can control that we don’t need to worry about anybody outside,” Cappellano said. “That success will kind of just take care of itself. We did a good job this year in our regular season of getting a lot of out-of-district games, so we were trying to strengthen our schedule as much as we could, and that way when we came down to games like today, we can be able to compete and figure out how to win.”
As for Lewisburg, Berge had a similar, non-comparison strategy.
“We knew that coming in playing any team from District 3 is highly competitive, but we’ve been holding our own,” she said. “And we didn’t really want to come in comparing ourselves to anyone else. That’s never a healthy view. So, we came in just hoping to play our game and it just didn’t work out for us today.”
However, the Green Dragons’ 2022 season is nothing to look down at. This is the farthest Lewisburg has made it in the state tournament since 2004.
“It’s amazing for these girls,” Berge said. “They’ve worked hard all season and they deserved to get here, so I’m just proud of them. Our seniors are amazing. The reason we got this far was because of their leadership, so we’ve been working all season long, and they’re going to be missed for sure.”
- Goals – Thompson (2), Vacarro (1), Buehler (1), Rothenberger (1)
- Assists– Snyder (2), Lopez (1), Vacarro (1), Buehler (1)
- Shots – 6
- Penalty corners – 6
- Saves – Cenora Grim (3)
Green Dragons: 1
- Goals – Moyers (1)
- Assists – Berge (1)
- Shots – 4
- Penalty corners – 1
- Saves – Keeley Baker (2)