TURBOTVILLE — In an evenly matched sporting contest between two equally disciplined opponents, sometimes all it takes to swing the pendulum is one lucky bounce.
The Warrior Run girls varsity soccer team got just such a bounce nearly 52 minutes into Monday’s contest against defending HAC-II champion Midd-West.
Paige Bowman lofted a corner kick from the far sideline which was misplayed by the Lady Mustangs’ keeper. The ball squirted through the Midd-West goalie’s hands and into the back of the net to give the Defenders a 1-0 lead and all the momentum in what had been a war of attrition between the two sides until that point.
“It really put us in a spot to actually relax and kind of move the ball around and I think our possession became less panicky and was really more connected,” Warrior Run head coach Rob Ryder said. “It was definitely a good team effort. Everybody really stepped up and we were able to put some other people in and that’s really the hallmark of a good team, to be able to get as many people on the field and able to play in a varsity setting.”
The first 40 minutes between the Defenders and Mustangs were fairly conservative as each team tried to uncover a weakness in their opponent’s defense. Each team attempted to get their strikers behind the defense, but both squads were forced to settle for long shots from outside the box.
The second half began in similar fashion, but following Bowman’s marker, the teams visibly went in different directions in terms of body language and execution. The Defenders began to attack the Lady Mustangs with speed and Midd-West played the rest of the game back on its heels.
At the 60:08 mark, Warrior Run again got a goal thanks to the unsure hands of Midd-West’s keeper. A loose ball on the goal line after a shot by Bowman ended up in the back of the Lady Mustang’s net and the tally was credited to midfielder Lindsey Trapani.
Warrior Run forward Zoe Reese iced the game for the home side when she beat her defender to a long touch from teammate Jess Vognetz into the Midd-West end and fired a short-side shot into the net to make it, 3-0. Reese’s goal came at 67:25 and the Defenders were able to drain the clock over the final 12-plus minutes to capture their third-straight victory.
The win upped Warrior Run’s record to 3-0-1 in 2019 and Ryder and his coaching staff believe that their players’ training prior to reaching the high school level coupled with varsity-level instruction is the main reason behind the team’s quick start.
“It speaks to a lot of different coaches they’ve had before me because there are a lot of different training backgrounds on this team,” Ryder said. “To connect all that talent is definitely a good challenge for us as a coaching staff. We’re proud of all the girls and all of their efforts, all of the growth they’ve been making since even the first day of preseason. It’s really been an honor to coach them.”
Warrior Run 3, Midd-West 0
at Warrior Run
Scoring First half None Second half
WR — Paige Bowman (unassisted, off corner kick), 51:18 WR — Lindsey Trapani (Paige Bowman assist), 60:08 WR — Zoe Reese (Jess Vognetz assist) 67:25 Team Statistics Shots:
WR, 12-7; Saves: M-W, 6-5; Corner kicks: WR, 5-2; Direct kicks: M-W, 9-3