By Marion Valanoski
For The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE -- Taylor Landis is different than most players. She is one of the few attackers capable of scoring no matter how many defenders an opponent sends to shut her down.
If Landis is given that one opportunity in an 80-minute game, chances are high something good is going to happen. After being held scoreless in the opening half and limited to only four shots on goal, said opportunity came early in the second half for Landis and the Defender senior did not miss. The Defenders took advantage of a rare breakaway opportunity and Landis took a perfect pass from team Chloe Eisenhuth to beat Southern Columbia keeper Jess Watkins to carry Warrior Run past the Tigers, 1-0, Tuesday, in a Heartland Athletic Conference Division II game.
"It was all Chloe there and a great pass to Taylor," Warrior Run coach Jen Allen said. "Southern Columbia is a tough team and we knew we'd have to step it up against them. This is a big win (2-0) in a tough three-match week for us."
The Defenders played much of the opening half in the shadow of their own goal with the Tigers pressing the action. The defense fought off each attempt and also came up big late when freshman keeper Olivia George, knocked away a high bounce off an attempt with 1:45 left to keep the match scoreless and prevent the Tigers (1-1) from grabbing the all-important early momentum.
"I did whatever I could just to get a hand on the ball," George said.
Both teams managed only for shots on goal with each missing out on one breakaway attempt. The Tigers were able to shut down the passing lanes early and never allowed the Defenders to get many good looks at the net.
The second half Warrior Run using its superior depth was able to spread the Southern Columbia defense out after Landis' goal just two minutes in. The Defenders were able to get better looks downfield and wear down the visitors and on their second possession of the half they made the most out of their quickness to get one of the few shots past Watkins.
Southern had a great opportunity to possibly tie the score with 6:05 remaining following a scramble in front of the Warrior Run goal. George came up with a great sliding save and was able to divert the ball away and keep the home team's slim lead intact.
"I thought we did a good job of taking away their passing lanes in the first half but their defense was tough," Tigers' head coach Derek Stine said. "We may have contained them for a while but Landis is so tough and once she breaks through the defense and has a defender one-on-one there's no stopping her and not much you can do."
Statistically, both teams finished with nine shots on goal but the Tigers did hold a commanding 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. George finished the match with nine saves and Watkins had eight for the Tigers.
"Our keeper is quick and she has a tough job in replacing a four-year starter (Reda Vermilya) but we've started a freshman there the last couple of years and it hasn't hurt us," Allen said. "She did a great job of controlling the traffic.
"It would have been nice to score that security goal at the end. I thought our backline was really impressive and we were able to rotate several players and keep people fresh.
"We have two tough matches left this week with Hughesville on Thursday and Lewisburg on Saturday."