It was a historic season for Wyalusing girls’ soccer, one that ended with them winning their program’s first ever district contest.
“I think our team showed much improvement and we were playing our best at the end of the season,” said Wyalusing coach GaryHaley. “I think our girls began to understand that you need to play your best every time you step on the field. The teams in our league for the most part are pretty competitive and consistent play is important if you are going to compete for the league title.”
They started the year splitting at the Meadowbrook Christian Tournament, then went on a five match winning streak as they beat rivals Towanda (4-1), Loyalsock (3-1), and playoff bound Williamson (3-1).
They were up and down over their next six games, going 2-4, as they lost to Troy (8-2), NEB (3-0), and Athens twice (2-1, 5-3).
However, they did beat a tough Wellsboro team 2-1, and edged NEB 6-5 at home in one of the most thrilling games of the season.
In their final five matches they went 4-0-1, including a 2-2 draw with Troy that set the tone for them heading into the playoffs.
They would face familiar foe NEB in the district match, and pull out a 1-0 win for their program’s first postseason victory. The Rams faced Southern Columbia in the district semifinals, and lost 6-0, but held their own for much of the match.
Southern is now in the state final, slated for this weekend.
“I was also very pleased that we were able to get a playoff win and advance to the district semis where we played Southern,” said Haley. “Even in the loss, I think our team benefitted. We also had our second season in a row with 13 wins, which is a positive sign for our program as we move forward.”
Junior Olivia Haley set a new school record in goals this past season with 67, while senior Layla Botts reached the 50 goal milestone. They also boasted a big class of freshmen, with nine new faces, several of which helped out on the field.
Haley will return next season, along with sweeper AnnaMary Slocum. Sophia Alvarez has the goalie spot nailed down for the next two seasons, Chloe Bennett showed improvement in the midfield, with freshmen Addison Bly and Treanna Nickeson earning starting roles by season's end. Stalwarts Mia Wilcox and Savannah Gromley will also be back.
“Even though we are going to have a difficult time replacing Layla, Syd (Friedlander), and Elana (Jennings), for the most part, we are a young team and look forward to next season,” Haley said. “With continued work and improvement, we hope to have another successful season next year.”