Wallenpaupack’s Chelsea Mann and Wyoming Valley West’s Paige Wasilewski battle for control of the ball in Kingston Monday afternoon in a match which the Spartans won to claim the WVC Division B title.S.John Wilkin/The Times Leader
KINGSTON – Wyoming Valley West’s quest for a divisional title took an unexpected detour the other day, but headed back on the right path Monday night.
The Spartans used goals by Brianna Evans and Katie McGarry to defeat Wallenpaupack 2-1 at Spartan Stadium, clinching the Division B championship in Wyoming Valley Conference girls soccer.
“This is the second division (title),” Valley West coach Mike Davitt said. “When we were practicing in the gym, there’s a banner with the champions on it. The girls said they wanted their year up there this year.”
Valley West entered the season as the divisional favorite after consecutive runner-up finishes to Wyoming Seminary, which moved up to Division A this year. The Spartans (10-1) were running smoothly, posting nine consecutive victories before losing 1-0 to Lake-Lehman on Friday.
The loss gave Wallenpaupack (6-2-2) an opportunity to make a run at the division.
“We didn’t practice at all over the weekend, and we came back and this was the result of it,” Davitt said.
Any worries about lingering effects of the loss were quelled four minutes into the game when Evans scored unassisted.
About 11 minutes later, Rebecca Lipski sent a crossing pass from the left side that was a little too long for McGarry. McGarry managed to gain control nonetheless near the right post and scored.
“We gave up two cheapies early,” Wallenpaupack coach Mike Soskil said. “We have a really young squad and had that dear-in-the-headlights look.”
The Buckhorns changed that with two plays. First, defender Kyla Wentz plucked a certain Valley West goal from the goal line. Then Jillian Alderfer just missed wide on a 25-yard shot that gave the offense some life.
Alderfer found the goal early in the second half to move Wallenpaupack within 2-1. The junior midfielder took a pass from Jillian Jansco and made a run straight down the field, racing past a few defenders to score. Her shot hit off the base of the left post and caromed inside the right part of the net.
Wallenpaupack then received a break, but failed to capitalize when Lauren Cassel was pushed in the penalty area. Valley West keeper Shelby Butz made a save on the ensuing penalty kick, then she and teammate Kaleigh Reynolds beat Wallenpaupack’s Chelsea Mann to the rebound.
The victory most likely will give Valley West one of the top-two seeds – and a first-round bye – in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs. Wallenpaupack will also be in the tournament.
“If all goes well, we’ll see them again in the district semifinals,” Soskil said. “This game proved we’re every bit the team that they are.”
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First half: 1. WVW, Brianna Evans, 4th min; 2. WVW, Katie McGarry (Rebecca Lipski), 15th; Second half: 3. WAL, Jillian Alderfer (Jillian Jansco), 43rd,
Shots: WAL 9, WVW 23; Saves: WAL 16 (Heather Michael), WVW 7 (Shelby Butz); Corners: WAL 2, WVW 4.