November 12, 2020 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens senior Emma Roe will make a big jump next fall, from the NTL soccer fields in Bradford County to the Division 1 soccer pitch at Wagner College on Staten Island.

Roe said Wagner’s campus was the perfect combination of small-town feel, and close proximity to New York City.

“First of all, I’m going to school for Business Administration, and, Wagner is so close to the city,” she said. “I know I will be prepared so well for the future, and have a lot of opportunities very close (to campus).

“And, their soccer program is amazing,” noted Roe. “Before quarantine, I was able to visit the campus, and meet the team and the coaches. I felt very welcomed there.

“Even though it’s on Staten Island, and close to (New York) City, it has a small-town feel,” added Roe. “It reminds me  of around here, there are trees, there are hills … it doesn’t remind you of the city at all, but it’s so close to somewhere so populated that I thought it was a great opportunity.”

Athens coach Rich Pitts believes Roe will thrive at the next level.

“Emma will have success because she is self-motivated,” he said  “She sets goals and works very hard to attain them. So, this next challenge will be one that she puts her total heart into and she will keep grinding until she gets out of it, what she desires.”

Roe knows she has work to do to play at the next level.

“I am working on a lot of strength training and conditioning, as well as on my dribbling,” she said. “As an offensive player I feel my touches on the ball should be perfect.”

Pitts said Roe’s biggest challenge at the next level is likely to be the “mental game.”

“Other than the obvious things she needs to work on — fitness, speed of play and physicality of the college game, I would say the mentality,” he said. “College is tough at any level, but at D1 it is a huge commitment in time.

“You have to be really organized in time management to ensure you train and play at the highest level and take your academics at a high level,” noted Pitts. “Then, sprinkle in some social life. With that comes a mental drain that can be tough on a student-athlete.  

“I think that could be her struggle, but she has a good support system and I'm sure she will talk to some of the girls before her that can help her with it,” added Pitts. “Emma Adams, (Rachel) Hutch(ison) and Ari (Gambrell) would always be willing to give her advise since they are going thru it, too.”

A dynamo on the field, Roe is known for her physicality and non-stop motor on the field.

“Phil Casella, the Wagner coach, actually saw me play one time, and said that’s all he needed to see,” she said. “He saw me win the ball in the air, dribble down the field, and score.

“He said he saw the fight I had, and energy I played with, and thought it was perfect for the (Wagner) program,” Roe added.

Roe is looking forward to the next chapter in life.

I’m so excited,” she said. “I’ve been talking to the other girls, there are seven or eight other commits in our class. We’ve been communicating … I’m so excited to meet them, and to be able to play college soccer.”

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November 10, 2020 Tim Birney

Athens senior Emma Roe was named the NTL girls soccer “Player of the Year,” two of her teammates were named to the first team, and one to the second team in recent voting by the league’s coaches.

Roe, who scored 19 goals and doled out eight assists, was a non-stop dynamo from one end of the field to the other for the Lady Wildcats.

Wellsboro senior Kerrah Clymer scored 35 goals and dished out 16 assists to earn “Offensive Player of the Year” honors for the league champion Lady Green Hornets. (She was one of only two Wellsboro players chosen to the two teams.)

Troy’s Emmi Ward was named the “Defensive Player of the Year,” and Wyalusing’s Gary Haley was voted “Coach of the Year.”

Roe and Ward were named to the all-state team.


Erin Barrett, Towanda.

Hannah Walker, Athens;
Emmi Ward, Troy;
Laci Hitman, Troy;
Porsche Bennett, Towanda.

Hannah Blackman, Athens;
Camilla McRoberts, Troy;
Chelsea Hungerford, Williamson;
Olivia Sparbanie, Towanda.

Forward / Striker
Emma Roe, Athens;
Kerrah Clymer, Wellsboro;
Nicole McClelland, Troy;
Haley Jayne, Wyalusing.


Peal O’Connor, Wyalusing.

Sage Greenland, Towanda;
Kenzie Miller, Wyalusing;
Charlie Slusser, Williamson;
Scout Abel, Williamson;
Kali Thoman, NEB.

Alli Thoman, Athens;
Layla Botts, Wyalusing;
Taylor Williams, Troy;
Kelsey Cowles, NEB;
Jacklyn Neilson, NP-M.

Forward / Striker
Kerrah Thoman, NEB;
Jenna Boyce, Wellsboro;
Addison Parker, Troy;
Mura Nelson, NP-M;
Olivia Haley, Wyalusing.

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October 31, 2020 Tim Birney

ATHENS — To paraphrase a famous American sports entertainer, “to be the champion, you have to beat the champion.”

Mifflinburg did just that here Saturday afternoon, rallying for a 3-2 win over two-time defending Class AAA champion Athens  in District 4 girls soccer playoff action.

“I told the girls all year long, ‘if you’re gonna get beat, don’t beat yourselves — make somebody beat you,’” said Athens coach Roch Pitts. “And, Mifflinburg beat us. They are a good team, they moved the ball and played well together.

“I thought we played a full 80 minutes. (Mifflinburg) made some great plays to score some goals,” he noted.

“We knew from playing them last year this was going to be a battle,” added Pitts. “I’m not disappointed with how we played, I don’t know what we could have done differently.”

The majority of the game was played in the Athens defensive end but the Lady Wildcats did strike for a pair of goals late in the first half to take a 2-1 lead into the halftime intermission.

“If you watch (Mifflinburg), they obviously have a good number of travel players who are good on the ball, can move, and know what to do,” said Pitts. “We don’t have that, and that’s OK.

“We work a lot on defending,” he noted. “We’re not afraid to sit-in, and play that  counter-attack style of soccer. There are professional teams that have championships that way, and we almost pulled it out today.”

The first 7 1/2 minutes was play predominantly in Mifflinburg’s defensive end.

About 4 minutes into the game, Athens junior Hannah Walker launched a shot toward the goal from 30 yards out that sailed over the crossbar.

About 1 1/2 minutes later, senior Emma Roe, who had a goal and an assist in her final game, made a 50-yard run down the middle of the field, but Mifflinburg defender Makayla Weber poked the ball away deep in the box.

Eight minutes into the game, Athens sophomore keeper Abby Champion touched the ball for the first time.

About one minute later, Champion touched the ball three times in a matter of seconds. Mifflinburg’s Peyton Yocum ripped a shot from 15 yards out that Champion stopped, bout couldn’t control.

Sarah Fritz was on the spot, but her shot from point-blank range also hit Champion. Remi Stahl had the next chance, ripping a shot that also caromed off Champion, who was finally able to corral the ball as it rolled toward the goal line.

In the 11th minute, Walker collected the ball in the open field on the left wing, and fired a shot-on-goal, but Miff keeper Kristi Benfield made a diving stop at the near post.

With 25:44 remaining in the first half, Athens was whistled for a push, and Mifflinburg lined up for a direct kick about 45 yards from the goal. Fritz’s kick from near the out-of-bounds line on the far sideline looped perfectly into the box about 10 yards from the goal, where Yocum’s header re-directed it just inside the near post to give them a 1-0 lead.

Mifflinburg continued to control play for the next 11-plus minutes, until Roe and senior Hannah Blackman worked a give-and-go near midfield, freeing up Roe for a run down the middle of the field. With three defenders converging on her, Roe slid a pass to sophomore Ally Thoman on the left wing.

With little angle for a good shot, Thoman drove a shot over Enfield’s outstretched arms at the near post that settled into the net just inside the far post to tie the game at 1-1 with 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

“For being at short as she is, (Ally Thoman) hits rockets off her foot,” said Pitts. “She hit it upper-90 … the goalie got her hands up, but that was going in — she almost ripped it through the net.”

Almost three minutes later, Roe took a pass from Walker at midfield, beat two defenders, then pushed a pass ahead to herself to beat a third defender. She also beat Benfield to the ball, and knocked a shot inside the far post to give Athens a 2-1 lead with 11:13 remaining in the half.

The teams exchanged scoring chances for the first 18 minutes of the first half, but Athens took the 2-1 lead into the halftime intermission.

With 21:49 remaining in the contest, Avery Metzger beat a pair of Athens defenders on the near sideline, and was able center the ball into the box, where Fritz bodied it past Champion at the near post to tie the game at 2-2.

With 18 1/2 minutes remaining, Roe got free on a breakaway. A hard-charging Benfield got a piece of Roe’s shot, but couldn’t control it. Roe took a quick shot off the rebound, but it rolled wide of the net.

With 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Mifflinburg won a 50-50 ball at midfield and sent a long pass into the box, where Fritz tracked it down about 10 yards from the net, and a hit a low, hard shot past a lunging Champion to put Mifflinburg ahead 3-2.

With Mifflinburg putting seven or defenders back, Athens put a bit of pressure on their net over the next three minutes, but weren’t able to punch through.

The final three minutes was spent in the Athens defensive end.

Athens wraps up the season at 9-3-1.

Pitts said all his seniors will be missed, but got a bit emotional when talking about his “coaches on the field” — Roe and Blackman.

“Not having them around is going to be a little sad, for sure.

“Hannah and Emma are special kids,” he said. “Both of them are fantastic kids.

“You could hear them all game long, all season long, and in practice,” noted Pitts. “I mean, at halftime I would walk over to talk the girls, and I would hear (Hannah and Emma) telling the team exactly what I had in my notes to talk about.

“They are going to be hugely missed,” added Pitts.

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October 20, 2020 Tim Birney

EAST TROY — Senior Emma Roe scored in the 16th minute, and the Athens defense made it stand up in a 1-0 win over Troy here in NTL girls soccer action on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

The win is a bit of redemption for the Lady Wildcats, who dropped a 2-1 decision to Troy at home Saturday.

“I thought we played a really tough scrappy game tonight in a tough place to play,” said Athens coach Rich Pitts. “The girls really sacrificed their bodies tonight to pull out a huge win.

“And, we needed to win to, hopefully, pull off a home game in districts,” Pitts added, noting his team is currently the second seed in Class AAA standings.

With 24:06 remaining in the first half, sophomore Ally Thoman played a through ball from the corner, and Roe drove a shot into the net for the game’s only goal.

“Roe and Ally (Thoman) really put a lot of pressure on Troy's back line with speed and passing, including a great link up for the goal,” said Pitts.

The Athens coach said it was a complete team effort against a good Troy team.

“Hannah Blackman really did a great job putting girls in the best spots to be successful,” he said. “Her voice is so amazing and the information she gives is always spot on.

“Mya Thompson did everything asked of her in multiple positions,” said Pitts. “She has been a great addition for us this year.  She works so hard and did a great job marking (Nicole) McClellan the last 15 (minutes) of the game.  

And, Taylar Fisher and Norah Reid helped our back line shut down their speedy forwards by doubling them,” noted Pitts. “Mia Robinson, (Hannah) Walker, Teagan (Williams) and Kaylee (Grazul) were awesome all night dealing with the pressure they put on us.”

“I’m super-happy getting the win tonight, and now on to districts,” added Pitts.

Athens had a 9-8 edge in shots-on-goal, while Troy had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Olivia Tate had six save in net for Troy, while sophomore Abby Champion had three for Athens.

Athens wraps up the regular season at 9-2-1.

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October 17, 2020 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens had a big advantage in time of possession, and shots-on-goal, but Troy took advantage of its chances in a 2-1 win — handing the eight-time defending league champs its first league loss at home in nine years — here Saturday morning in NTL girls soccer action.

The last time Athens lost at home was a 3-2 setback to Troy on Oct. 5, 2011.

The Lady Wildcats outshot Troy 19-5 in the loss.

“That seems to be a theme we’ve had throughout the season,” said Athens interim coach Nick Soprano. “We get our chances, the girls possess and bring it up well, from defense to offense, but in the attacking-third, we can’t seem to put it in the net.

“Give credit to Troy, they took advantage of their opportunities, even though they had fewer than we did,” added Soprano.

The Lady Trojans were playing in their first game since Sept. 26, and longtime coach Wayne Pratt was impressed by his team’s performance.

“We always bring our best … every team brings their best against, let’s face it a dynasty. Athens is an awesome program, they are the team to beat every year.

“To be off for as long as we’ve been off, and for them to come together this quickly says a lot about these ladies,” said Pratt.

“There were two great teams on the field today. I can’t say enough about the Wildcats,” added Pratt.

Troy spent much of the game in its defensive end, but scored twice on quick counter-attacks.

“We prepared for that. We talked to the girls about (Troy’s) usual game plan is,” said Soprano. “As soon as they get the ball on their foot, they’re looking down the line, over our back line to pepper it.

“Most of the time we defended it well, a couple of times we didn’t,” added Soprano.

“We had four days to prepare for this game,” said Pratt. “The ladies worked on possession, and our forwards have worked on being more accurate with their touches, as well as their shots and it paid off today.”

“We showed up, and we put it all together today,” he added.

The Lady Wildcats controlled the opening minutes of the game, but in the 8th minute Troy hit on a quick counter-attack, and Makenna Matthews scored from close range to give the Lady Trojans an early 1-0 lead.

About 4 1/2 minutes later, Athens senior Emma Roe slid a centering pass to sophomore Ally Thoman, but her shot sailed over the crossbar. It proved to be a familiar sight on the day.

With 19 minutes remaining, senior Hannah Blackman made a run down the far sideline, and centered it to Roe, but her shot sailed high.

With 12 minutes left in the half, Troy keeper Olivia Tate barely beat Roe to a through-ball. Tate was shaken up in the resulting collision, but remained in the game.

Less than two minutes later, Roe’s shot deflected off a Troy defender, and freshman Norah Reed collected the rebound and fired off a shot, but Tate was on the spot for the save.

About 70 seconds into the second half, Roe placed a beautiful pass into the box, where senior Hannah Blackman controlled it, but her quick shot sailed high.

Less than two minutes later, Troy’s Nicole McClellan drove down the sideline, touched a pass to Matthews in the center of the box. Matthews quickly touched it to Addison Parker at the far post, and she drove a shot into the back of the net from about 10 yards out to make it 2-0 with 37 minutes remaining in the contest.

Pratt said the quick goal was something his team discussed at halftime.

“We were gassed at the end of the first half … three weeks off will do that to you,” laughed Pratt. “This is kind of like a second season for us.

“We talked about it at halftime,” he noted. “We told the ladies we needed to get another goal because we knew a 1-0 lead would not hold up against a great team like Athens.

“We came out (of halftime), and we executed,” added Pratt. “We got that early goal and it energized us a bit.”

The Lady Trojans had a couple more scoring opportunities in the second half, but the majority of action was in Troy’s defensive end, with the Lady Wildcats peppering shots on the net. Tate made several good saves, and her defense use their bodies to shield her from several more shots.

With 31 minutes remaining, Thoman and Roe executed a perfect give-and-go, but Thoman’s shot from 20 yards out whizzed just over the crossbar.

About 6 1/2 minutes later, Thoman centered a ball into the box, and Blackman ht a hard volley right at Tate, who handled it cleanly.

With 7:45 remaining, Roe fed Walker with a pass about 15 yards from the goal mouth, but Walker’s shot skimmed the top of the cross bar.

With 3:21 remaining, the Lady Wildcats finally penetrated Troy’s defense when Roe slid a pass between two defenders to Thoman in the box. In a 1-on-1 with the keeper, Thoman drove a shot into the back of the net to trim the deficit to 2-1.

The Wildcats got off a couple more shots in the final minutes, including one by Blackman that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar as the final horn sounded.

“We played hard at the end,” said Soprano. “I think if we would have competed a little bit more in the first half, we would have been able to put a couple away and get this game where we wanted it.

“I thought the second half, especially the last 20 minutes, we showed what Athens soccer is all about,” he added. “We just need to put together a complete game to compete with them.”

Tate had 11 saves in net for Troy, while sophomore Abby Champion had five for Athens.

Troy improves to 5-1 on the season, while Athens falls to 8-2-1. Wellsboro sits in first place at 8-1-1.

Athens travels to Troy Monday. Troy travels to Towanda Monday.

“We get them again Tuesday at their house,” said Soprano. “We have a few things to sharpen, but I think with the way we ended the game, the girls know we can compete against them, and win.”

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October 14, 2020 Tim Birney

TOWANDA — Athens got back on the winning track Wednesday night after its first league loss in nearly five years, but it wasn’t easy.

After battling to a 1-1 tie through the first 40 minutes, senior Emma Roe beat a pair of Towanda defenders to score what ended up being the game-winning goal early in the second half, lifting Athens to a 2-1 win here at the Endless Mountains Sports Complex.

Athens, which dropped a 2-1 decision at Wyalusing Monday, had the first good scoring chance of the evening came with 17:06 left in the first half as Roe found sophomore Ally Thoman deep in the box. Her shot was wide, though, keeping it 0-0.

Then, at the 16:25 mark, Roe scored her first goal. She had a run down the right side of the field, cut in and put it past Towanda keeper Erin Barrett with a low shot to the far corner.

Towanda answered with 3:33 remaining in the first half when Olivia Sparbanie made a long run of her own down the right side and hit a long shot just over Athens keeper Abby Champion’s finger tips to make it 1-1.

Athens had two more good opportunities to score before the intermission, but Barrett answered the call.

Moments after the game-tying goal, Roe found Thoman again deep in the box, but Barrett reacted quickly to the shot and scooped up the ball.

Then, with just under two minutes to play, Roe had a hard shot deflected that Barrett was able to clean up.

Athens put the pressure on Towanda early in the second half.

In the opening minutes, Athens had an indirect kick from just outside the box, but the Towanda defense held.

With 27:42 remaining in the contest, Roe made another strong run, cutting past two defenders, and hitting a shot inside the far post to make it 2-1.

The Lady Knights had two good scoring chances, but Champion and the defense preserved the win.

With 18:45 remaining to play, a Towanda corner kick sailed just over the crossbar. Then, with 1 minute on the clock they had another corner kick — Porschia Bennett put it on the far side of the box to Sparbanie, but her shot went high.

Athens had a 16-7 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.

Barrett had 11 saves in net for Towanda, and Champion had five saves for Athens.

Athens, now 8-1-1, hosts Troy Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

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October 12, 2020 Chris Manning

WYALUSING — Down a goal late in the second half Athens had its only clean look at a ball in front of the Wyalusing net. Two Wildcats converged on it to shoot, only to have the ball sail over the crossbar.

That was how the afternoon went for the Lady ‘Cats in their 2-1 loss to Wyalusing in NTL girls’ soccer action Monday.

The loss was the first for Athens in league play in Pitts’ tenure — now in its fifth season. Entering the game, Pitts’ record in NTL games was 57-0-3.

“I thought we played well. It’s a tough field … it’s like a little postage stamp, but that’s what they have, so that’s what you show up and play on,” said Athens coach Rich Pitts. “I thought our girls fought the whole game, and played our style of soccer.

“That’s the game sometimes,” noted Pitts. “It’s the law of averages, I guess. Eventually, we are going to lose.

“Hats off to Wyalusing. They played hard, they played well. They played guys tough (at Athens), and they played us tough tonight on their own field, with some good crowd support,” added Pitts.

Athens’ last league loss was a 2-1 setback to Sayre at the Lockhart Street Bowl on Oct. 24, 2015. It snapped a 64-game regular-season league win streak.

The Ram defense was able to contain Emma Roe, Hannah Blackman and Ally Thoman much of the day while getting big goals from Alexis Capone and Marissa Johnson. Johnson’s was a penalty kick.

Thoman did break through in the second half to cut it to 2-1, but they didn’t get any closer than that, despite outshooting Wyalusing 12-6 and having a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.

Early in the game, the Wildcats had the Rams bunkered down with a series of corner kicks, but the defense held as Athens couldn’t get a clean look in the box. After that, for much of the first half, they tried long-range shots, but Wyalusing goalie Pearl O’Connor easily swallowed them up.

Wyalusing’s first good chance to score came at 31:20 as Olivia Haley got a breakaway. She aimed for the top right corner, just like her winner at Towanda, but this time it was a couple feet outside the right post.

It was a preview of how the Rams would score at 22:19 as Capone got free down the left side of the field. She buried it past the Athens goalie Abby Champion for the 1-0 lead.

Late in the half, Thoman had the best look yet for the Wildcats, coming in from the left side she had a free look at the goal. She shot low, but O’Connor was ready, scooping up the ball to preserve the 1-0 halftime lead.

The beginning of the second half saw some wide-open play as both teams made runs. Athens continued to control possession, but the Rams weren’t hunkered down like early in the first half.

The Wildcats had a good chance to score at 26:35 as a Hannah Blackman shot rebounded off of O’Connor. Norah Reid crashed for the opportunity, but O’Connor cleaned it up.

At 22:30, Haley had a free run down the left side, but her shot was just wide. Athens wasn’t able to clear it, though, and a minute later Haley drew a foul inside the box on the Wildcats.

Johnson took the penalty kick and calmly buried it in the left corner for a 2-0 Wyalusing lead.

“The PK was really soft. I thought our defender did a good job, but (the official) thought it was a PK,” said Pitts. “The (Wyalusing) girl didn’t lose possession of the ball, and didn’t fall down. I’m not sure how it was a PK, but it was because (the official) called it.”

Just as things were looking dire for Athens, its offense seemed to wake up. After drawing a foul, they had a direct kick in Wyalusing’s end. The ball ended up on Roe’s foot.

Her shot bounced off a Ram defender only for Thoman to pick it up. She found a seam on the left side of the defense and snuck it past O’Connor to trim the deficit to 2-1 with 21:07 left to play.

Haley tried to answer at 11:45 with a run, but after that it was all Athens.

They moved Hannah Walker up from the backline, and she put O’Connor on notice with a bullet from outside the box. O’Connor managed dive in front and knock it away, but it was a harbinger of things to come.

With 6:07 left, Wyalusing had its first miscue defensively and let a cross roll free through the box. Two Athens players converged on it, but the shot went over the crossbar.

Then at 4:30, the Wildcats had back-to-back chances, the first off of Walker’s foot that forced O’Connor to make another diving save, and the second was blocked by a Wyalusing defender to preserve the 2-1 lead.

That seemed to be Athens’ last gasp as Wyalusing was able to clear it.

The Wildcats now play Towanda Wednesday as they fall into a tie with Wellsboro at 7-1-1 in the NTL standings. Wyalusing is just behind both teams at 7-2.

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October 8, 2020 Tim Birney

ATHENS — With first place on the line, Thursday’s Athens-Wellsboro’s girls soccer "battle of unbeatens" at Alumni Stadium had a postseason feel to it.

The Lady Wildcats scored goals 84 seconds apart early in the second half, and withstood a late Wellsboro goal to take sole possession of first place with a 2-1 win.

Athens has won back-to-back District 4 titles, and eight consecutive NTL championships. Athens coach Rich Pitts says this team has every intention to extend both those streaks.

“It’s a huge win for us,” he said.

“(Wellsboro) walked into the building … they were focused, and they were ready to beat us,” noted Pitts. “They thought they were going to beat us, and I challenged my girls — ‘not in our house, not this time, not anytime’ and the girls responded.

“We’re going to be the champs until somebody knocks us off. That’s not cocky, it’s just the attitude we always come with,” added Pitts. “Somebody might (knock us off) and that’s OK, but they’re going to have to beat us. We’re never going to beat ourselves.”

Athens controlled the ball throughout the contest, outshooting Wellsboro, 16-2, and also had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks.

“We changed to a 4-2-3-1,” said Pitts. “I ran it by the older girls, and they wanted to try it because we were getting a lot of pressure on with just three backs. Sitting two in front shuts everyone down, it’s just about having pace with your midfielders so you can get everyone forward.

“In the second half, we were better, especially the midfielders, getting pace, getting forward, and getting chances,” added Pitts. “It was a good game for us.”

The Lady Wildcats put pressure on the Wellsboro net from the outset. However, between errant Athens shots, and a couple nice saves by Green Hornet keeper Lilly Abadi, the game was scoreless at the intermission.

Early in the second half, Roe took a feed well outside the 18, dribbled through three or four Wellsboro defenders, and beat Abadi with a shot inside the net at the far post to give the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

“That was good stuff,” said Pitts. “(Emma) has a short memory. She missed some goals she probably should have had, but she forgot about it and moved on.

“She’s the motor of this team, and every game that clicks off is one less game I’m going to have her,” he added. “It’s been such a treat to coach her, she’s just a great kid overall. She plays 80 minutes and she still has tons of energy.”

With 33:48 remaining in the contest, Roe, along the baseline, sent a pass through the box to the far post, where senior Hannah Blackman one-touched into the back of the next from 10 yards out to make it 2-0.

Pitts credits another switch — moving Roe up front, and sophomore Ally Thoman to the midfield — for the pressure on the Wellsboro goal.

“On the way here tonight, I decided to put (Emma) up top, and see what we can do,” said Pitts.

“Emma is a midfielder, but she can score goals. Usually she’s coming from deeper in the field, so getting that in the pocket is not what she normally does. They bracketed her with two girls, there were basically six girls marking her.

“Ally (Thoman) is only a sophomore … those balls she was playing through to Emma in the first half were nice. We work on that a lot, and Ally got her head up, and found Emma a ton,” noted Pitts. “It was brilliant stuff.

“I thought Thoman played a great game tonight, putting her in the spotlight role that Emma usually runs,” he added. “And (Hannah) Blackman is always there for us, she’s a stud back there.”

Athens maintained pressure on the Wellsboro goal, but Abadi and the Green Hornet defense kept the score at 2-0.

With 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Kerrah Clymer, off a feed from Cara Tennis, put Wellsboro on the board.

With 4 minutes remaining, the Lady Wildcats got off three hard shots from inside 15 yards, but Abadi made two athletic saves, and another shot ricocheted off a defender.

Athens kept the ball in the Wellsboro for nearly all of the remaining four minutes.

Athens, now 7-0-1, travels to Wyalusing Monday, while Wellsboro, now 6-1-1, travels to NP-Mansfield Saturday.

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October 7, 2020 Tim Birney

SAYRE — Seven different Athens players found the net in an 8-0 win over Sayre here Wednesday afternoon in NTL junior high soccer action at Riverfront Park.

Eli Benninger-Jones and Addyson Wheeler scored goals in the first 10 minutes to give the junior Wildcats a quick 2-0 lead.

Pete Jones added a goal five minutes later, and Chase Ingram scored at the 25-minute mark to give Athens a 4-0 lead at the halftime intermission.

Jase Babcock recorded three saves in net in the first half.

Babcock took to the field in the second half, and scored just five minutes after the intermission to make it 5-0.

Ronel Ankem, Ingram, and Adam Kemp added second-half goals to close out the scoring.

Hannah Earls had one save for Athens in second half.

Athens had a 4-0 edge in corner kicks.

The game was called early due to thunder and severe weather.

Athens improves to 9-0-1 on the season, while Sayre falls to 1-6.

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Athens, Valley Sports Report & Circle W Sports to launch new Wildcat Athletics website

Athens, Valley Sports Report & Circle W Sports to launch new Wildcat Athletics website

February 24, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY - River Road Media Group, parent company of Valley Sports Report, and Circle W Sports announced a partnership Sunday with the Athens Area School District to provide an athletic web site for all Wildcat sports.

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