NTL GIRLS' SOCCER: TOWANDA REBUILDS DURING 2021 CAMPAIGN
(2021-11-18)Northern Tier Sports Report
Coming into 2021 Towanda knew that it could be rough. They lost over half their starters from the 2020 squad that qualified for districts, only had three seniors for this year, and brought in just one freshman to the mix.
Regardless, while they finished with a 3-13 record, they didn’t feel like a 3-win team. Their defense continued to be stout, led by NTL Defensive Player of the Year Porschia Bennett, but it couldn’t overcome their lack of scoring, as they had just 14 goals on the season.
“With the loss of seven seniors, all key players, it was a growing season for us,” said coach Greg Neyer. “By the end of the season, we were able to find players to fill those positions giving us a great starting point for next season. It was a disappointing season, but the girls showed a great deal of growth. We’re looking forward to next season.”
They had a gauntlet for their non-league schedule, one that featured the whose who of District IV, Class AA soccer with Warrior Run, Bloomsburg, Hughesville, and Shamokin. All four teams were playoff teams, with Bloomsburg coming off a state title.
They also had several close losses on the season, particularly at the end of the year.
Things started off well with a 2-0 win at Williamson. They came home and lost just 1-0 in a tough battle with Shamokin. That, though, kicked off a 7-match losing streak; however, they played Wellsboro to a close 2-1 loss during that stretch.
As the month turned to October they picked up a 4-0 win over NP-Mansfield, then followed that up with their game of the year, a 2-1 overtime victory against the Hornets.
Matches were a little more competitive after that. They lost 5-0 to Bloomsburg, but it was just 1-0 at the half.
They led Williamson, a playoff team, 1-0 before dropping a 2-1 loss late. Then, in their Annual Pink Out, they fell just 1-0 to NTL power Athens.
Going forward they return 8-of-11 starters, but will need to fix a big hole on defense with Bennett graduating, along with replacing goalie Kyann Kjelgaard.
One big returnee is mid-fielder Anna Dunn, one of the best freshman in the league this past season, while they boast a strong junior class that will be seniors in 2022.
Those two things should be reasons for optimism next fall.
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