NEW CASTLE —
Overtime became Kyler-time last night.
Kyler Lum scored the tying goal and added the golden goal in overtime to lift Wilmington to a 2-1 win over Sewickley Academy in a PIAA Class A first-round girls soccer match at Franklin High School.
The triumph marks the Lady Greyhounds’ first PIAA playoff victory.
“Actually, it’s the first PIAA win for the boys or girls teams. It’s a big step for the program,” Wilmington coach Ben Bailey said. “Hickory won earlier in the night and it’s a big step for our area overall. It’s great.”
Wilmington (13-7-1) advances to meet Greensburg Central Catholic (18-2), a 6-3 winner over Karns City, on Saturday at a time and site to be determined.
“This win is crazy,” said Lum, a Youngstown State recruit. “This is our first time in our program’s history that we’ve come this far and won. It’s amazing.”
The Lady Greyhounds, who have claimed three of the last four District 10 championships, struggled early against the Lady Panthers (12-8-3), the WPIAL’s third seed.
“We were unsure and very nervous going into this game,” Lum said. “They are pretty good and we lost in the first round last time.”
Sewickley Academy had the first scoring chance at 8:19. Katelyn Ripple got her head on Aja Thorpe’s corner kick, but goalkeeper Ally Hahn was in position to grab the ball.
Leann Wynder nearly got Wilmington on the scoreboard 12:11 into the match. Her long, arcing shot clanged off the far post and bounced away from the goal.
Lady Panthers goalkeeper Maggie DeWitt made pair of diving stops on Lum shots 36 seconds apart to keep the Lady Greyhounds off the scoreboard with 11:43 left in the half.
Molly Lennen gave Sewickley Academy a 1-0 lead with 1:51 left in the half. Following a scramble in front of the goal, Lennen intercepted a Wilmington clearing attempt and ripped a shot from 20 yards inside the far post.
Lum nearly tallied the equalizer with 13:01 remaining when she cut across the top of the penalty area and ripped a left-footed laser. However, it clanged off the crossbar and away from the goal.
Lum came through with the tying goal 1:37 later when her shot sailed inside the far post with 11:24 on the clock.
“It was getting really frustrating. We were making silly mistakes, but we pulled it together in the end. We came together really well,” Lum said. “After we tied it up, our attitudes totally changed. When they scored, we were down. It was rough. As soon as we tied it, we all stepped up.”
The game went to overtime and Lum cashed in on Wilmington’s lone scoring chance. She raced past two defenders, took a long pass near the left side of the penalty area and unleashed a low, hard shot that rolled inside the far post with 2:58 on the clock.
“I was hoping I could end it. I was hoping I wouldn’t hit another crossbar,” she said with a laugh. “I knew it was going to count. This was an important win for us.”
Bailey was pleased with his team’s patience.
“I think there might have been some nerves early in the overtime because we have a lot of younger girls. But, it was a great experience for everybody,” he said. “We had some great opportunities during the game. It was just a matter of time. They controlled play early and we expected that. Overtime started the same way. They were possessing the ball and controlling it. It’s what we planned for when we were coming up here to play.”
Then, Lum capitalized on Sewickley Academy’s aggressiveness.
“The counterattack went the other way and they got caught up,” Bailey said. “The goalie was kind of blocked and Kyler had two people on her. Her left-footed shot might have fooled her, too. She gave a look like she was going with her right at first. What a great win.”
NEW CASTLE —
Overtime became Kyler-time last night.
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