WAVERLY — In a gritty matchup of perennial girls’ soccer powers, the Athens Wildcats used two goals, ball control and timely defense to emerge victorious.
Athens scored first in the fourth minute. Hannah Blackman lofted a crafty flick of the ball from fourteen yards away. The ball rose over a crowded box, over the leaping goalkeeper’s stretched arms and into the goal.
Athens continued to dominate the time of possession for much of the first half. With just over sixteen minutes left in the half, the Wildcats struck again. This time it was Emma Roe blasting a shot into the net. The Wildcat lead upped to 2-0.
Athens started with the ball in the second half and kept up the possession game and offensive pressure. Blackman and Roe teamed with Sam Markle, Krysta Manning, Abby Sindoni, Ally Thoman and Hannah Walker to keep the ball and keep it forward on the field.
Midway through the second half, Waverly began to win the possession game and challenge the Wildcat defense. The Wildcats seemed to struggle a bit when Sindoni had to leave the game due to injury. Further, Gabby Picco began to play more forward for the Wolverines than she had earlier in the game. Whatever may have triggered it, the Wolverines were attacking.
While the Wolverines controlled the ball and moved it beyond midfield repeatedly, they were unable to get many shots. Athens defenders Hayleigh Chambers, Bailey Dakos and Caydence Macik shut down multiple Wolverine attacks.
Athens regained control of possession and momentum as the time ran out on the Wolverine attack. The game ended with the Wildcats ahead, 2-0.
“We knew coming across the highway wasn’t going to be an easy night.” acknowledged Athens Head Coach Rich Pitts. “They (Waverly) played hard. They did good things against us, made us work for eighty minutes.”
Athens finished with twenty shots on goal while Waverly only managed a single shot. Blackman scored one goal on three shots for Athens. She also had eight tackles. Her teammate, Emma Roe, scored one goal on six shots and had eight tackles as well. Chambers and Dakos led in tackles with eleven and ten, respectively.
Athens travels to Williamson Monday night and Waverly’s next game is hosting Notre Dame on Tuesday.
Sayre 4, Watkins Glen 0
WATKINS GLEN — Sayre pulled away from a 1-0 game at the half to get a win over the home side in the consolation game of the Watkins Glen Tournament on Saturday.
Riozlyn Haney had a hat trick for the Sayre ladies. Included in that trio was the only goal of the first haslf. Scored unassisted, the goal came 14 minutes, 28 seconds into the game.
In the second half, Haney connected on a penalty kick with 22:22 to go. Courtney Sindoni connected off an Abby Moliski assist a few minutes later, and Haney hit again off a Moliski assist with just 25 seconds to play.
Sayre, which had a 6-4 lead in corner kicks, got off 22 shots, 10 shots on goal, with Watkins Glen keeper Lily Ameigh stopping six.
Sayre keeper Adrianna Barnhart stopped all seven shots the host Senecas got off.