FORTY FORT – Annie Bagnall routinely yelled to Holy Redeemer athletic director J.P. Aqualina to ask for how much time was remaining on the clock. It was all the Royals’ forward could do to contain her excitement and contribute in some way from the bench in the waning minutes.
Holy Redeemer knocked off Lake-Lehman by a 3-1 score Thursday in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls soccer action at the Forty Fort Sports Complex.
Even just a sophomore, Bagnall knew the weight of the win this early on in the year. The odds stacked up against Holy Redeemer any way you put it: an opponent that handed the Royals all three of their losses last year, a roster depleted to graduation, and a virtually similar Lake-Lehman team with one more offseason under its belt.
Take away Bagnall, the Royals’ top scorer, for 50 minutes, and toppling the defending conference and district champions would seem like a Herculean task.
The Royals posted three goals – just two less than Lake-Lehman allowed in total all last season – in the first 25 minutes and held on to the victory.
“The girls were aggressive,” Holy Redeemer coach Robert Hughes said. “Our two forwards are both young and aggressive. They’re goal hungry. We had a very difficult preseason schedule so we would be ready for a game like this.”
Kasey Danko scored twice to lead the Royals to their third victory of the season. Danko put her team ahead in the 12th minute when she manufactured an unassisted goal off of a transition.
Ten minutes later, Bagnall dazzled her way around three defenders before lifting a ball into the corner of the net. In the 31st minute, she went down to an ankle injury after colliding with a Lake-Lehman defender going for the ball. Coach Robert Hughes downplayed the severity of the injury.
“We told them they need to come out and take it to win,” Hughes said. “They can’t just sit back. Lake-Lehman is a great team – look what they did last year at states – so we couldn’t let them sit back and play their game.”
In the 25th minute, Danko capped the Holy Redeemer scoring barrage with her second goal of the game on a penalty kick. Her initial shot was thwarted by Lake-Lehman goalkeeper Stephanie Ayers. Danko followed through by kicking a loose ball into the net.
“I thought we were going to be a bit more relaxed than we were,” Lake-Lehman coach Kelly Adamshick said. “We were very tight, very anxious. They were playing kick ball, trying to keep up with them. We’re not a kick ball team.”
Two goals shy of the century mark for her career, Lake-Lehman’s Mackenzie Love came just short of the milestone. Love scored the Black Knights’ only goal in the 75th minute. Sarah Salus sent a patented cross into the center of the box, and Love one-timed it for No. 99 in a Lake-Lehman kit.
Lehman was not short of chances. The Black Knights towered the Royals in shots by a 29-9 margin. In the first half, Abby Paczewski had multiple chances to cut into the three-goal deficit that fell just short.
She sent a thru pass to Madison Brdaric in the 29th minute that just sailed high of the post. In the 34th, Paczewski hit the cross bar on a shot that bounced off of the goal line and miraculously stayed in play. Eight minutes later, she delivered a shot to goal that was met by Holy Redeemer’s Carly Cavanaugh at the line.
“We missed multiple shots that were point-blank away,” Adamshick said. “The score is obviously what it was. You can’t change that. We can’t wait to come out until the second half of the game and recover from that.”
Holy Redeemer goalkeeper Jocelyn Kosik played a tremendous game with 20 saves. For the final 25 minutes, the Black Knights pelted her with shots that she continually caught safely in her mitts. Kosik stopped a pair of well-hit set piece shots within a two-minute span.
“That’s what people are telling me – that I had a lot of saves,” Kosik said. “I think I did pretty well. I know my defense and the rest of my team really helped me out a lot.”
Wyoming Area 10,
Wyoming Seminary 1
Wyoming Area’s Aleah Kranson led the Warriors to victory with four goals and two assists. Erica Gallagher contributed with two goals and one assist, and Caitlin McDonough had one goal and one assist.
Wyoming Seminary’s Maria Johnson scored a goal late in the game.
Crestwood 3, Pittston Area 1
Crestwood’s Melissa Herrera led the Comets to victory, scoring three goals.
Pittston Area’s Katelyn Wesp scored the lone goal for the Patriots.
Meyers 6, Hanover Area 2
Hanover Area’s Hannah Pugh and Lydia Rodriguez scored a point each for the Hawkeyes.
Nanticoke 3, GAR 0
Brinley Sobeck, Amiah Lukowski and Gabby Rokowski scored for the Trojans in a shutout victory.
Holy Redeemer 3, Lake-Lehman 1
First half — 1. HR, Kasey Danko, 12th; 2. HR, Annie Bagnall, 22nd; 3. HR Danko (PK), 25th. Second half — 4. LL, Mackenzie Love (Sarah Salus), 75th.
Shots — LL 29; HR 9. Saves — LL 3 (Stephanie Ayers); HR 20 (Jocelyn Kosik). Corner kicks — LL 6, HR 3
Wyoming Area 10, Wyoming Seminary 1
Wyoming Seminary`0`1 —`1
Wyoming Area`5`5 —`10
First half — 1. WA, Aleah Kranson, 37:08; 2. WA, Erica Gallagher, 30:37; 3. WA, Kranson, 27:27; 4. WA, Kranson, 25:58; 5. WA, Kranson, 11:26. Second half — 6. WA, Kranson, 29:42; 7. WA, Gallagher (Kranson), 29:20; 8. WA, Caitlin McDonough, (Gallagher), 23:51; 9. WA, Gallagher (McDonough), 18:55; 10. SEM, Maria Johnson, 13:41; 11. WA, Amanda McCormick (Kranson), 6:31.
Shots — SEM 8; WA 28. Saves — SEM 13 (Julia Isera); WA 13 (Lauren Kelly). Corner kicks — SEM 3; WA 2.
Nanticoke 3, GAR 0
First half — 1. NAN, Brinley Sobeck (Katie Butczynski), 32:33. Second half — 2. NAN, Amiah Lukowski (Maddy Gilz), 20:46; 3. Gabby Rokowski, 6:41.
Shots — NAN 20; GAR 13. Saves — NAN 5; GAR 16. Corners — NAN 5; GAR 1.