September 12, 2022 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Junior Lea VanAllen delivered a pair long second-half goals to lift Waverly to a 2-0 win over crosstown rival Athens here Monday night in non-league girls soccer action at Memorial Stadium.

“This game was a true test for us,” said Waverly coach Tara Hogan.

“I thought the girls played a really tough match,” said Athens coach Rich Pitts. “We battled right to the end, had our chances in the second half, but just couldn’t convert.”

The majority of the first half was spent in the Athens defensive end, but the game went scoreless into the halftime intermission.

“We were happy with the way the girls started the game,” said Hogan. “In the first half, our forwards — Kiley Stillman, Addy Westbrook, and Ryleigh Judson — were playing their positions well and put a lot of pressure on their defense right from the start.”

VanAllen took a feed from 8th-grader Mackenzie Olmsted, and fired a hard, low shot from 25 yards out into the corner of the net just 2 1/2 minutes into the second half to give the Lady Wolverines a 1-0 lead.

With 22 minutes remaining, VanAllen, off a feed from senior Kennedy Westbrook, and bent a shot from outside the right hash from 28 yards out over the keeper’s outstretch hands, and into the net to make it 2-0.

Hogan also credited her defense, which allowed just two shots-on-goal, for its part in the win.

“We tried Claire Clonch in goal tonight and she did not disappoint,” she said. “She has seen time in goal before, but hasn't played there much for us.  She really stepped up and was a strong presence on the field.

“We also switched up our starting defensive line with Kennedy Westbrook being shifted back,” noted Hogan. “We wanted to scope out Athens before we really started to push up.

“I continue to sing our defenders’ praises,” she continued. “They — Kennedy, Paige Robinson, and Olivia Robinson — with the help of Makenzie Olmsted as sweeper, are just so smart and incredibly reliable. Nothing gets past them and if they do, they are phenomenal about covering for each other.  

“And, Makenzie Olmsted is such a force and is everywhere she needs to be to support all the lines,” added Hogan. (Assistant coach Berent) and I are very proud of the girls never quitting and for playing a smart, strong game.”

Pitts said his team will benefit from the loss.

“However, we tried some new things and I like what we learned as a team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

“Thanks to Waverly for having us, they were a good match up that we needed at the right time,” added Pitts.

Waverly had an 8-2 edge in shots-on-goal, and a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Senior Karlee Bartlow had six saves in net for Athens, while 8th-grader Clare Clonch had two saves for the Lady Wolverines.

“Karlee Bartlow had the best game of her young career,” said Pitts. “I’m super-proud of her.”

Waverly, now 3-0, hosts divisional rival Notre Dame Wednesday night, while Athens (1-2) travels to North Penn-Mansfield Tuesday.

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September 8, 2022 Tim Birney

ROME, Pa. — Athens scored twice early, but Northeast Bradford shut them down the rest of the way and rallied for a 4-2 win here Thursday afternoon in NTL girls soccer action.

The Lady Wildcats scored on two of their first three shots-on-goal, with senior Ally Thoman putting the Lady Wildcats on the board a little more than six minutes into the game.

Sophomore Addy Wheeler made it 2-0 just 9 1/2 minutes later.

NEB’s Kayleigh Thoman scored twice in a nine-minute span to tie the game at 2-2 with 7:52 remaining in the first half.

Alena Beebe scored just 50 seconds later to give the Lady Panthers the lead for good, at 3-2.

Melanie Shumway tacked on an insurance goal midway through the second half for NEB.

Athens had a 20-19 advantage in shots-on-goal in the contest.

Karlee Bartlow had 15 saves in net for the Lady Wildcats.

Athens, now 1-1, travels to NP-Mansfield Tuesday.

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September 1, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Senior Ally Thoman scored a pair of first-half goals, and freshman Kaitlyn Sutton netted a hat trick in her first varsity game to lead Athens to a season-opening, 6-3, win over Williamson here Thursday afternoon in NTL girls soccer action at Alumni Stadium.

“I thought we had a bit of a slow start, then all of a sudden we played Athens soccer,” said Athens coach Rich Pitts.

“I was happy with our voice and how we moved the ball on possession,” he noted. “Our build up and play on the offensive final third showed how much we work on it in training. We were very clinical in our goals with great movement on and off the ball.

“Defensively, we played well with three new starters,” he continued. “A few scary moments, one that cost us a goal but the four of them worked their way into the game, and fixed the issues that gave them trouble as the game progressed.

“I like our front six offensively, and think we have some real quality with six goals by three different players,” added Pitts.

Thoman started off the scoring with a breakaway goal 10 minutes into the contest, Williamson answered with a breakaway goal of their own about 6 1/2 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1.

Thoman scored again with 18:42 remaining in the half, off an assist from Kendra Merrill to give the Lady Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

Junior Emma Yohe made it 3-1 about six minutes later, off a feed from Sutton.

Sutton notched her first varsity score with 11:06 remaining on an unassisted goal from 25 yards out to give Athens a 4-1 lead at the half.

Sutton connected again from 25 yards out, this time on a direct kick with 33:45 left in the game, to make it 5-1.

Williamson closed the gap to 5-2 with 14:30 remaining, but Sutton completed her hat trick nearly 6 1/2 minutes later to extend the lead to 6-2.

The Lady Warriors scored in the final minute to provide the final margin.

Williamson had a 13-10 edge in shots-on-goal, and an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Senior Karlee Bartlow registered nine saves in net for Athens.

The Lady Wildcats return to action Thursday at Northeast Bradford.

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