Windber brings an end to Lady Panthers’ year

By Christina Dunmyer

For the Mirror

DAVIDSVILLE — Northern Bedford had no answer for Windber’s offense Monday in a 7-0 loss in the District 5 1A girls soccer semifinal playoffs.

With the win, the Lady Ramblers earn a berth in Wednesday’s championship game for a second consecutive year. The defending champions will face McConnellsburg, which defeated Conemaugh Township 2-1 in shootout. The teams went to the 11th shooter to decide the victor.

“We were glad to make it this far and proud of the girls for the season the had,” Lady Panthers coach Bridget Beach Bechtel said. “Sadie (McConnell) is one of the area’s leading scorers, so we try to work the ball to her up front. We weren’t able to do that tonight. Our touches were off and we weren’t winning the balls in the middle. They (Windber) had some really nice shots.”

Madison Leitenberger and Kacey Costlow both scored a pair of goals for top-seeded Windber in the victory. Costlow added a pair of assists while Leitenberger had one helper.

“Everyone on this team has a role and they played it tonight. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Windber coach Paul Buza said. “We needed the will to win from minute one to minute 80. We were aggressive. We wanted this game and nothing was going to stop us.

“I’ve got six or seven girls that can put the ball in the back of the net at any given time. It’s comforting. I don’t need one 40-goal scorer. I’ll take six or seven 10-goal scorers any day.”

Windber (19-1) jumped out to a 1-0 less than seven minutes into the game. Leitenberger drilled a shot under goalie Emma Suter off a pass from Caroline McClain.

With 26:59 left in the first half, Makaela Cominsky booted in a rebound to make it 2-0 Windber. Suter knocked a Lady Rambler corner kick away from the net, but it went right to Cominsky who buried it in the back of net. Natalie Buza assisted on the play.

Windber dominated play in the first half. The Lady Black Panthers had one shot on goal in the frame. It came from leading scorer Sadie McConnell with 10:15 remaining on a point blank opportunity that Windber goalkeeper Marideth Tokarsky grabbed.

Northern Bedford managed just two shots in the second half. Tokarsky came up with saves on both of them.

Windber scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the frame to make it 5-0. Leitenberger lifted a shot over Suter, Costlow got around a defender and went low and Buza drove home a ball that came across the middle of the field.

The Lady Ramblers weren’t done. They added goals with 10:55 and 7:20 left in the game. Costlow’s second goal came off of a rebound on a shot from Leitenberger that hit the far post and bounced right to her. Jenna Neri closed out the scoring when she went top shelf just under the crossbar. Costlow earned the helper on the goal.

Northern finished the season with a 13-7-1 record. Seven seniors — Jordan Helsely, McConnell, Kaity Corle, Kaitlyn Musselman, Suter, Mackenzie Gates and Kelli Wyles — are lost to graduation.

“This was one of our goals, to make it this far in the District 5 playoffs,” Bechtel said. “We accomplished most of our goals. This one just didn’t quite get us there this year. We are very proud of the girls for their effort this year.”

SCORE BY HALVES

Northern Bedford 0 0 — 0

Windber 2 5 — 7

First half: W–Leitenberger (McClain), 33:07. W–Cominsky (Buza), 26:59.

Second half: W–Leitenberger (Costlow), 39:04. W–Costlow (unassisted), 34:32. W–Buza (unassisted), 30:46. W–Costlow (Leitenberger), 10:55. W–Neri (Costlow), 7:20.

Records: Northern Bedford (13-7-1); Windber (19-1).

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