ROBESONIA — It has waited a long time, Wyomissing. And Northern Lebanon? It has waited, well, forever, for a district girls soccer title.
So why not play two overtimes to delay the ecstasy for one of them?
In the end, it was Wyomissing celebrating a District Three Class 2A girls soccer championship. The program’s first title since 2004 came courtesy of Hannah Hurleman’s right-foot blast from 20 yards out past Northern Lebanon goal keeper Ashlyn Messinger 8:47 into the second overtime, for a 2-1, drama-filled Spartans' victory.
“I guess with the seasons we had and Wyomissing, this is the way a district final should end,” Northern Lebanon coach Jeff Snyder said of the tightly contested final.
Of course, Snyder would have preferred it ended differently — and it could have. But in the end, the Spartans had too much speed and size for the Vikings, who were seeking their first district championship.
Hurleman’s goal was set up like so many other Spartans' chances — long through-ball to a winger, followed by a pass to the middle. For the most part, the Vikings clogged the middle to deny shots on goal.
But with 6:18 to play, Wyomissing’s Isabelle Marshall, streaking down the right side of the field, like she had done all night, slammed on the brakes, turned and left-footed a pass to Hurleman, who finished the play.
At first, it looked like Cadence Hoke’s first-half goal for Wyomissing, on a bending corner kick at the 14:04 mark, might hold up. But Emily Hauck answered in the waning minutes for Northern Lebanon, on an assist from Ella Whitman, to tie the game at 1-1.
The Spartans nearly ended it with 3:29 to play in the first overtime when Marshall’s shot from short range clanked off the post. Wyomissing applied intense pressure throughout both overtimes, preceded by intense pressure for most of the initial 80 minutes.
The Spartans played on the edge all night, pushing the ball down the boundaries of the field and creating scoring chances and corner kicks, while the Vikings’ defense worked diligently to deny. Wyomissing took 13 corner kicks to Northern Lebanon’s two, and out-shot the Vikings 9-4, although Wyomissing took at least a dozen more shots wide of the net or over it.
“We had a great season, but what really hurts is because of COVID we don’t get to go to states,” Snyder said. “And that’s a shame for these girls.”