By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL--The dynamic duo of Makaila Colley and Kayla Williams pitched a shutout Monday night for the Skyline Hawks when they hosted Sherando in Northwestern District girls soccer action.
Solid goalkeeping was abundant in the matchup but the Hawks combination proved to be the difference as Skyline won, 1-0.
"Tonight was gut-wrenching," Hawks coach John Moore said. "This was the first time we have beat Sherando since our school opened and we are very excited and proud of that accomplishment."
The Warriors offense found themselves deep in Skyline territory often, but also found themselves empty handed just as much. Colley held Sherando scoreless during the first half while Williams sealed the victory in the second.
"There was a lot of pressure for us tonight, but when I get in and the adrenaline starts rushing," Williams said. "I try to do whatever it takes to help my team. They are like a second family to me."
Holding the lead, Skyline was tested down the stretch but each time they answered. The Warriors fiercely attacked from all ends of the field, but could not find the net. After both Audra Sites and Erin Magailis missed shots on goal, Morgan Sirbaugh had an opportunity to score with a free kick, but missed when her shot sailed just over the net.
When Sherando maneuvered through the Skyline defense, Williams was there to answer the call. Williams was fearless as she made stops, came out of goal to stop the Sherando attack and sparked her team down the stretch.
"Skyline played well," Warriors coach Rob Kilmer said. "They showed up to play tonight and you have to give them a lot of credit. We had chances, but we couldn't get it in the frame."
As play entered penalty time with the game winding down, the Warriors found themselves with two solid chances. Amanda Fogarty sent a high kick, but Williams jumped high and made the save with her fingertips.
Then as Sites raced toward the net after the ball entered the box, Williams was late to get to the ball giving Sites a clear goal, but her kick hit the pole and was quickly cleared by a Hawks defender to preserve the victory.
"That was the scariest moment of the night for me," Williams said. "I am really thankful that my teammates helped me out and made a big play there."
Skyline found themselves in the potential winning situation after Michelle Meszaros scored during penalty time in the first half for the only goal of the night.
A pass from Megan Reinhardt to the left side was controlled by Meszaros on the sideline. Meszaros moved left then right to clear a Warriors defender. She then raced toward the goal and placed her shot perfectly over the hands of Warriors keeper, Maribeth Watkins, and into the top right corner of the net.
"I felt like I really needed the break just before that play," Meszaros said. "I needed some water and was getting frustrated with the defender on me. When I came back in, I got a nice pass and then on the crossover I just raced past the defender and got a good shot."
With Skyline recording its first district win of the season, the team is upbeat about how they are coming together and the possibilities that exist moving forward.
"We are all really happy to get our first win in the district," Meszaros said. "We have really been working hard and coming together as a team. We are going to try to stay focused and keep encouraging each other and try to build off of this."
"We have been steadily improving every game since the beginning of the season," Moore said. "We used a different formation tonight. We used it a little in our last game and we used it tonight and it worked well. I think we may keep using it."