Reserve Wehrle wins it for Skyline girls

FRONT ROYAL – Skyline girls soccer reserve Jordan Wehrle picked an opportune time to wind up her first goal of the current season.

Her pop-up score in sudden death handed the Hawks a 4-3 victory, the first such over a Warren County aggregation since 2009. This put the visitors at the Wildcats’ stadium into the Conference 28 playoffs for an initial season.

“It was just there, so I took it. It was a big win for us,” said Wehrle.

Hawks coach Kristy Beaune substituted the junior into the game and she did the rest in what amounted to a sudden-death period after two scoreless extra frames.

“It was big for us, the school and the program,” said an obviously excited Beaune, who with assistant Amanda Slate coaches the team.

Not only was it a victory over Skyline’s crosstown rival (evening the seasonal record to 1-1-1) along with an invitation to play at Brentsville next week in the conference semifinals.

This fifth victory for the Hawks (5-10-1) was the most ever by a Hawks’ squad, which to this point had never passed the four-victory barrier.

It came against a Warren County squad (8-6-3) which produced a winning season for the third straight year under coach Mike Carpenter and assistant Erly Moya.

That was some consolation for a squad that had won four of its last five matches coming into the third showdown of the Front Royal shootout.

“It was just a tough, tough loss after so many great wins,” said ‘Cat senior Courtney L’Amoreaux. “But, one thing is for sure, even though it’s said, I’m satisfied. This is the closest team I’ve ever played on.”

Warren County actually produced 28 shots for its three goals. Skyline, meanwhile, got off eight shots. Half of them went in.

“We didn’t take a lot of shots, but the ones we did were on target,” said Wehrle.

The Wildcats will graduate L’Amoreaux, Nina Petitt, Nina Richards, Michaela Berry, Kristyna McCullough, Savanah Falls and Rachel Liebl.

“It’s a tribute to our seniors,” said a disappointed Carpenter. “They have been the core of the program and we thank them.”

The Wildcats actually held a 3-1 lead after falling behind 1-0

Sophomore Kali Slate, who provided good energy for Skyline, scored the first goal at the fifth minute and the subsequent one-digit advantage.

But Warren rallied quickly when Richards plowed a pass to Alexandra Roth who drilled home the game-tying shot at the 20th minute.

A chip-in by sophomore Katelyn Thompson gave the Wildcats the 2-1 pad and then Michaela Berry blasted home another score at the 35th minute for a 3-1 halftime lead.

Skyline had opened play aggressively, but faced with a withering number of shots fired at the Hawk defense, gave way to a suddenly tuned up Warren group.

In the second half, senior Carley Holloway drew the goal-tender toward her and flicked in a shot to make it 3-2 Skyline in the 53rd minute.

The Hawks enjoyed consecutive corner kicks. On the second Carly Heiston broke free and her score tied the match in regulation.

The solid crowd at the stadium started cheering on its Wildcats while on the other side, a group of Skyline fans were hoping for another tally.

Heiston’s shot in the first overtime hit the right upright of the goal.

In the second period, Warren’s L’Amoreax’s dribbler missed its mark.

One more period remained before the two rivals would have to go to penalty kicks for the decider.

“I just saw the ball come off the kicker and I was close enough to do something with it,” said Wehrle.

“Truthfully, I’m not sure how we did it,” said Beaune.

“We’ve grown as a varsity team,” said junior defender Madison Haun. “We’ve worked hard on our passing and our defense and we’ve really improved.”

Warren County won its season opener over Skyline 4-0. The teams tied 1-1 on April 21.

Kali Slate attempted four shots for the Hawks, making one. Heiston attempted three efforts with one going in.

Lisette Moya also got off four attempts. Richards had two shots on goal and an assist. Shauna Sayers had one goal among three tries. Falls, Brooke Henry and Rachel Rankin all attempted a shot apiece.

Skyline goalkeeper Jordan Heberle recorded seven saves, while her counterpart, Hannah Pack, halted six shots.