’Cats win battle in 2nd half

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Greenwood turned up the heat in the second half of the District 3 consolation game.

Greenwood (19-3) generated 10 corners and six shots on goal after the break, resulting in a 3-1 comeback victory over Annville-Cleona (15-4).

Greenwood outshot Annville-Cleona, 9-4, and drew 17 corners.

“You have to get shots to win, no matter how much control of the ball you have,” Greenwood coach Kent Houser said.  “We weren’t getting shots in the first half, and we opened it up more in the second after two serious discussions about having to (generate) shots, and they started going in. I thought we played pretty well as a team today.”

The Wildcats seemed to have a knack for having girls in the right position for success.

Senior Morgan Burkepile redirected a Paityn Wirth shot, sending it just in the corner of the net and out of Annville-Cleona  goalkeeper Haley Zimmerman’s reach to even things up at one with 23:17 to go. The goal was Burkepile’s 10th of the campaign.

Roughly eight minutes later, sophomore Sydney Hicks picked a great time to deliver her first career goal when she sent home a corner feed from Grace Lesh to give Greenwood the lead for good.

Just 30 seconds later, Annville-Cleona senior Morgan Zimmerman had a decent look to tie things back up, but her shot eluded the goal wide left.

Roughly four minutes after Zimmerman’s play, the dynamic Wirth delivered her 40th goal of the season to provide insurance.

Not that the Wildcats needed it. The defense was rock solid.

Stellar defensive play from Courtney Fleisher and Laura Sheaffer limited the Little Dutchmen’s opportunities. Sheaffer  gave full effort to run down and stop Zimmerman’s break away. Wildcats’ goalie Nicole Willi saved all three shots she faced in the final 30 minutes.

“We started well, but faded in the second half,” explained Annville-Cleona coach Sue Felty. “Greenwood was quicker on their feet and we were reaching with our sticks, instead of moving our feet, and that hurt us, and led to them getting all the corners they did.”

In the first half, the Dutchmen generated just a single shot, but it was effective as Emily Fiebig turned a corner into a goal off a feed from Katelyn Brightbill at the 17:21 mark.

A golden shot opportunity for the ‘Cats to tie at the 12 minute mark sailed just wide. This allowed Annville-Cleona to maintain its advantage until the break.

Annville-Cleona goalie Haley Zimmerman made six saves in the losing effort.

Greenwood will now take on Gwynedd-Mercy in first round of the state tournament Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game will be played at Methacton High School in Norristown.