By: Tim Birney | | September 27, 2021 | Photo courtesy Nicholas Coyle


WELLSBORO — Senior Hannah Walker scored one goal, and assisted on the other to lead Athens to a 2-0 win over Wellsboro here Monday afternoon in NTL girls soccer action.

With the win, Athens improves to 4-0 in league play, and leads the NTL by 1 game over Wyalusing.

Overall, the Lady Wildcats are 5-4, with losses to Vestal, Fayetteville-Manlius, and New Hartford, as well as a 6-1 loss at Shikellamy Saturday.

Athens coach Rich Pitts said his team’s tough non-league slate paid dividends in the win.

“I thought we had good possession, and our build-up was pretty good,” he said. “And, I thought our speed of play was better because of the tough games we’ve been playing.

“We came out today after a tough game Saturday, but the speed of play for us was on, and I thought that showed through for the whole match,” added Pitts.

Athens took the lead in the 8th minute when Walker drove toward the end line, and sent a pass into the box, where junior Alli Thoman one-touched it past the Wellsboro keeper.

“We talked about wanting to test (Wellsboro) down the flank a little bit,” said Pitts. “And, we switched our formation from what we played them last time. We played a 4-4-2 last time, and today went back to a 4-5-1.

“We got into space, and Hannah (Walker) was able to beat the girl around the corner,” added Pitts. “She picked her head up and Alli (Thoman) made a great driving run to it, got her foot on it, and knocked it in. It was a great goal.”

With 6:11 remaining in the first half, Walker drove home a free kick from just outside the 18 to make it 2-0.

“That’s Walker’s third free kick goal,” said Pitts. “I would have liked it a little farther to the far post, but it was a good stiff hit. It was a nice goal.”

Athens had a 13-4 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.

Pitts paid props to Wellsboro keeper Lilly Abadi, who had 11 saves.

“Last time we played them, we had a lot of good chances, but we weren’t clinical enough in front of the net and put balls on the frame,” said Pitts. “We talked about it on the bus ride here, that we had to test (Abadi) … I thought she stood on her head tonight.

“They play good defense in front of her,” added Pitts. “They’re very courageous and throw their bodies in front of ball so things don’t get to her, but when things get to her, she’s good. She had a great game tonight."

Athens travels to Towanda tonight.



About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).