The new-look Ligonier Valley girls’ soccer team continued its early-season success with a convincing 5-1 home victory against Berlin-Brothersvalley at Weller Field on Wednesday.
Last year, Ligonier Valley lost to Berlin, 1-0 and 2-1, and both teams entered Wednesday’s clash with wins on Tuesday.
LV defeated Northern Cambria and Berlin-Brothersvalley topped North Star.
But Ligonier Valley prevailed by the four-goal margin on the following night.
“I’ve done this long enough to know that no one awards you any trophies or gives you any accolades for what happens two games into the season,” Ligonier Valley coach Eric Vogelsang said.
“So, I know we have a lot of work to do, and the last thing we want to do is look back on this two weeks from now and wonder what happened. We have to move forward and always get better.
“That being said, I could not be more pleased with where we are at this point in the season.”
Early in the game, Berlin -Brothersvalley pressured Ligonier Valley, and had several near misses in the first 10 minutes.
Ligonier Valley made several quick defensive adjustments and regained momentum.
The Lady Rams started to control possession and spent much of the rest of the first half in the attacking end of the field. Merril Neiderhiser got on the scoreboard first for Ligonier Valley with her third goal in two days from a Katie Lawson assist, giving the Lady Rams a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after that, junior striker Tatum Hoffman and senior midfielder Olivia Anto took over. Anto played two through balls into space that Hoffman finished, putting Ligonier Valley in front, 3-0 at the break.
“Bella (Schueltz) and Merril stepped up (on Tuesday), and (Wednesday) it was Olivia Anto and Tatum Hoffman who gave us the offense we needed,” Vogelsang said.
“Huge kudos to our back line, (that) took direction very well early, made a few quick adjustments and shut down an attack that scored four on North Star a day earlier.”
Hoffman earned her hat trick early in the second half off a Neiderhiser assist to make it a 4-0 game.Anto then registered her third assist, setting up freshman Kia Deemer for a 5-0 lead with 30 minutes to play.
Berlin-Brothersvalley was only able to get one goal back as the Lady Rams picked up the four-goal victory.
“We’ve got five days to be undefeated,” Vogelsang said. “I hope it builds our confidence into next week where we look to have two more tough games.”
Ligonier Valley’s next game is Monday (4:15 p.m.) at Rockwood Area before hosting Derry Area Sept. 13 (4 p.m.) at Weller Field.