Girls' soccer: Conestoga Valley falls to Daniel Boone in district semis
CORNWALL - The girls' soccer semifinal between No. 6 Daniel Boone and No. 7 Conestoga Valley was a toss-up coming in. For Daniel Boone, a victory over the Lady Buckskins Tuesday night at Cedar Crest High School was destined to be more of toss-in.
Capitalizing on their unique aggressiveness on the sideline throw, the Lady Blazers upended Conestoga Valley 2-0 to advance to Saturday's District 3 AAA final opposite top-seeded Cumberland Valley, a 2-0 winner over Cedar Cliff.
The Buckskins (15-5-1) will await Saturday's winner to determine their seeding in next week's state tournament after a second half breakdown versus Daniel Boone (16-2-2) resulted in an own-goal in the 63rd minute.
Blazers' senior Jill Braunsberg tossed two long throw-ins off Bucks' players, from 70-yards out and then 50-yards out to move possession down the sideline.
A subsequent throw-in by Alayna Roesner from the 25 reached the CV box, where it brushed off the head of a Bucks' defender out of the reach of goalkeeper Lauren Yoder and into the netting behind the far post.
"We probably spent half an hour yesterday defending it (the throw-in)," said Conestoga Valley head coach Keith Nagley. "For whatever reason we didn't have anybody covering the back post."
In all, Boone advanced 70 yards of pitch without placing a single toe on the ball. By game's end, the Blazers' onslaught included 14 throw-ins into the Buckskins' box to go along with three first-half corners.
"That's their weapon," Nagley said, referencing Boone's 2-0 victory over Manheim Township in the quarterfinals. "Unless you can stop the throw-in you're going to have problems."
After a scoreless first half, it seemed the Buckskins would generate some offensive pressure of their own, a pair of shots by Gianna Yurchak and Emma Wierich going wide of net.
But Boone slowly turned the tide before regaining advantage in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
"I thought we played better the first couple minutes of the second half and then reverted back to chip it and run," Nagley said. "That's not how we play. I don't think there is anything particular they did, we just sank to a kick-and-run style of soccer which isn't what we do."
Boone would add an insurance goal five minutes after the own-goal, this time Roesner gaining an assist on the throw when Kayleigh Kardos finished the ball past Yoder (4 saves) following a logjam in the box.
Despite Tuesday's result, the Bucks earned a berth in states following a year of just six wins. Conestoga Valley will face either the District One champion or District One runner-up, depending on how Saturday's final between Daniel Boone and Cumberland Valley plays out.
"Either way you're not getting an easy pull first round of states," said Nagley. "And it's a long bus ride because we'll end up going down closer to them."
Still, a berth in states isn't some throw-in reward for reaching the District semis.
"It's a good year so far," Nagley said. "The girls are obviously disappointed we lost tonight but they have a lot to be proud about whenever the season ends."
Girls' High School Soccer
District 3 AAA Semifinal at Cedar Crest
Daniel Boone 2, Conestoga Valley 0
CV 0 0 - 0
DB 0 2 - 2
SECOND HALF: 1 DB (own goal), 63:00; 2 DB K. Kardos (A. Roesner), 68:00
CORNERS: CV 2, DB 3
SHOTS: CV 3, DB 5
SAVES: CV L. Yoder 4, DB M. Witzel 3