Bears blank Indians
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Courtney Berger steps in front of Pleasant Valley's Sami Phillips during Tuesdauy's MVC matchup. The Bears went on to win 5-0.
The Pleasant Valley girls' soccer team wasn't clicking on all cylinders Tuesday afternoon in its Mountain Valley Conference match-up with Lehighton.
Even though the Lady Bears scored two minutes and 17 seconds into the game, they missed on a number of chances throughout the first half that could have blown the contest wide open.
Still, regardless of the missed opportunities, the Bears went on to score five goals and blanked the Indians 5-0.
"Scoring is something where some days you will be hitting on all cylinders and some days you will be a couple of seconds or feet off," said Pleasant Valley head coach Tim Hinton. "The big thing is that at least we are getting the chances. We can work on that in practice and hopefully things will come around.
"Once we settled down and kept our spacing and played some balls, we started to control the game more. We have to do the simple things because in the long run it creates more chances for us to score."
Kayla Dorney got things rolling for Pleasant Valley early in the first half. She gained possession about 40 yards out and carried the ball down the far side and closer to the Indians' net. When she got close enough, she fired a shot low and to the right that scooted under Lehighton goalie Jourdan Semmel.
The only other goal the Bears would tally in the first half would come off the foot of Kristin Hart. After a Lehighton defender failed to completely clear the ball, Hart settled it down and let a shot rip from about 35 yards out. The ball sailed over Semmel's fingertips and into the net.
Although Pleasant Valley out-shot (8-2) and out-cornered (6-1) Lehighton in the first half, the Indians hung tough thanks to Semmel's play in net. She stopped four difficult shots in the first half and ended up totaling 11 saves for the game.
"Jourdan played fantastic today," said Lehighton head coach Dan Dagorn. "She made some great saves. Unfortunately, there is only so much of a pounding that you can take. Those goals are going to come in sooner or later."
Kelly Roden, Hannah Bernier and Mel Nikocevic each added goals in the second half for Pleasant Valley. All three came within 12 minutes of one another.
Roden picked up a loose ball in front of the Lehighton net and went top shelf to the left for the score. Bernier did much of the same roughly five minutes later. Ironically, Nikocevic scored on her own corner kick. She lofted the ball from the left corner and watched as it bent around the post and in.
Whereas they kept it close in the first half, the Indians (0-4, 0-4) let the game get away from them in the second. Dagorn admitted that fatigue played a factor, as he has roughly 17 girls on his entire team.
"We have a really small bench in terms of experience," said Dagorn. "If we want a shot, I basically have to play my starters the whole game. Last game we held the opposition to no goals for an hour. Then the last 20 minutes got away from us. The girls just seem to run out of gas."
Pleasant Valley stays perfect in the MVC with the win (6-1, 4-0). However, the Bears have yet to face Pocono Mountain East and Stroudsburg - two of the conference's better teams.
"We just have to keep playing simple and play smart soccer," Hinton said. "If we do that then hopefully things will take care of themselves. Those are always two big games for us and we will be ready for them. We will be excited to play them."