Goals don't come much easier than the one Dallastown senior Olivia Talley scored Monday, and it was the difference in the game.
Talley's first-half score lifted the Wildcats to a 1-0 win against YAIAA Division I rival Red Lion at Dallastown Area High School.
"I thought it might end up going into overtime," said Talley, a first-year starter who first saw varsity action as a sophomore. "Thankfully, it didn't."
Dallastown (7-0, 4-0 Division I) has won six of the past seven Division I crowns, with the only interruption being Red Lion in 2011. The Wildcats win on Monday gives them a one-game lead in the division over Red Lion and New Oxford, which played Dover on Monday.
Junior Molly Lohss assisted on Talley's goal, which came with 3:25 before halftime and was just Dallastown's second shot attempt of the game.
"I'm pretty sure it was Nicole (Crumling) dribbling down the other side of the field, and I saw it was wide open on the other side, so I just ran," Talley said. "Molly was the one who hit it across. I think the goalie came out a bit too far, and I just went for it."
The Wildcats had Red Lion backpedaling on defense before the goal.
"(Dallastown) took the free hit very quickly and moved down real fast," said Red Lion coach Carol Gillmen. "I think we got caught in transition, which is a big part of the game when you play a team like Dallastown. Nobody communicated or stepped to the ball. All (Talley) had to do was pick up the ball and put it in. Defensive letdown."
The goal was the eighth of the season for Talley, one of Dallastown's co-captains. The Wildcats have outscored opponents by a 34-1 margin over the first seven games of the season.
"Positioning is everything in this game," said Dallastown coach Jeri Myers. "If you are in the right place at the right time, if she hadn't been down there or go in on goal, it wouldn't have gone in. It's like we keep preaching. Go far side, far post."
Red Lion (6-1, 4-1 Division I) had only one less shot opportunity (5-4) and two fewer corners (8-6) in the game. Lions goalie Jena Everett and Dallastown goalie Syd Terroso both made four saves.
"We had some corners and opportunities, but we have to play a lot more aggressively when you have a defense that can move to the ball and step up (like Dallastown's)," Gillmen said.
The Lions were able to blank Dallastown in the second half, but the Wildcats did a good job of possessing the ball to limit the number of Red Lion opportunities on offense.
"The last 15 minutes was definitely nerve wracking," Talley said. "It is always a tough game against (Red Lion) and always means so much when we go against them. They are a tough team."
Dallastown 1, Red Lion 0
First half — 1. Dt, Olivia Talley (Molly Lohss), 3:25.
Shots on goal — RL 4, Dt 5.
Corners — RL 6, Dt 8.
Goalies — RL, Jena Everett (4 saves). Dt, Syd Terroso (4 saves).
JV score — Dallastown 4, Red Lion 0