By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- After a scoreless first half, Warrior Run coach Jen Allen told her team they needed to punch in only one goal past Selinsgrove.
The Defenders heard the message loud and clear, and didn't waste any time executing it.
Just slightly over a minute into the half, Warrior Run freshman Maddie Beyer got the ball and fed a pass to sophomore Olivia George just inside of the 18-yard box. George quickly settled the ball and rifled a shot to the far post, past a diving Jess Lawton, to sneak in the go-ahead goal.
As Allen predicted, one goal was all that was needed. The Defenders held on to defeat defending district champion Selinsgrove, 1-0, in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon at Kenneth Robbins Stadium at Loyalsock.
"They're all stepping up when it matters. They've worked hard all season and the girls have been listening and responding and do what we ask them to do in practice," Allen said. "They've been playing as a team. (You) can't ask for more from them."
Warrior Run (13-5-1) advances to face Athens in the semifinals Saturday at a time and place to be determined.
The Defenders and Seals (12-4-3) both managed just six shots against the opposing defenses as neither defense yielded too many great looks.
George's goal was a perfectly placed shot just out of Lawton's reach with 38:48 to play.
"It was a perfect shot. There was nothing she (Lawton) could've done on that. That was a well-played shot to the corner," Selinsgrove coach Matt Metzger said. "She had some nice saves, especially in first half. She did what we expected her to do. If she's going to get beat, it's going to be with a well-played shot and that's what it was."
Selinsgrove's best chance to score came with 33 minutes to play off a corner kick
The ball was nearly headed into the goal and bounced around a sea of white and blue jerseys just feet from the goal. A Seals player got her foot on it and sent a shot that looked as if it nearly went in as it hit the very top of the crossbar and caromed straight down.
The Defenders booted it away, though, and prevented what would have been a game-tying goal.
"I thought our defense played great; Madi Welliver played smart (in goal); and I thought they did the right things they needed to do to win the game," Allen said.
Selinsgrove freshman Sam Rodkey had a decent look with 21:45 to play when she took a pass just outside of the goal area. Her shot bounced off Welliver, who quickly fell on it and prevented a goal.
The Seals had five corner kicks in the first half alone, but couldn't convert any of them as the Defenders' back line played extremely solid and didn't allow anything to develop.