Twin Valley’s offense was able to get the ball into Black River’s defensive third throughout the match, but too much diagonal play in the box left too much isolation and not enough chances to shoot. Jordan Niles would see much of the offensive action but had few passing options and was not able to get past second level defenders. The Wildcats’ passing game showed signs of life, but too many opportunities were left too far in front of Twin Valley’s offense, and each shot found its way directly to the arms of Black River’s goalie.
Coach Chris Walling said it was disappointing to see his squad play without a strong passing attack. “You’re not going to beat everyone up and down the field at this level,” Walling said. “Were taking an extra dribble and trying to beat an extra defender, but it’s not going to happen the majority of the time. You’ll work so much harder trying to do that then by relying on your teammates.”
Five teammates would score for Black River, however, with Blakely Gilmore and Morgan Kathon scoring in the first five minutes of play. Kathon would go on to score three more goals in the second to complete the blowout and a personal tally of four scores.
The Wildcats’ chances of contending in the playoffs have slimmed in the latter part of the season, and Walling knows his team must make corrections to their fundamentals to compete in the playoffs. “If they have any aspirations of winning a playoff game, it needs to be more aggressive or you’re going to get blown out. You can’t go just go through the motions and expect to win. We back up on defense and we spend so much time trying to get the ball back that once, instead of going, attacking, and winning balls.”
Wildcats lose playoff opener
STOWE- The Twin Valley girls’ soccer season ended one game into the playoffs Wednesday night, losing to sixth-ranked Stowe 3-1. Twin Valley came into the game ranked 11th in Division IV standings, finishing the season 5-8-2.
The Wildcats matched up aggressively with Stowe’s top players and kept the game within reach for the first half, allowing one goal at the 16-minute mark on a 20-yard unassisted shot by Bailey Sherwin.
Twin Valley’s season was plagued by an inability to contend and close out games in the second half, a problem that followed them to the playoffs. Stowe’s Sandra Schotke and Maddi Nunez would each score within the first five minutes of the second half, both on unmatched shots inside the box.
Sammy Cunningham-Darrah scored Twin Valley’s only goal with 10 minutes left on a beautiful 25-yard direct kick from Hannah Swanson over Stowe’s goalie’s hands.
Twin Valley coach Chris Walling says his team clearly was the aggressor for the majority of the game but couldn’t match up in critical moments. He is looking forward to next year, and what he describes as a great group of developing talent.