With time winding down and fog rolling across Bald Eagle Valley, Hannah Montminy got the break the Penns Valley girls’ soccer team needed.
The sophomore scored her second goal of the night with 3:38 left in regulation for a 2-1 victory over Bald Eagle Area on Tuesday night’s Mountain League opener at Alumni Stadium.
“In the first half we were a little panicked, kicked it away a lot and not really thinking about what we were doing,” Montminy said after the season-opener for both teams. “The second half we were able to slow it down a little, calm down and play the way we’re capable of playing.”
The outcome also delivered a win in the varsity coaching debut for the Lady Rams’ Andrew Beverly.
“We were talking about a bunch of new things, a new system,” Beverly said. “There are going to be some growing pains and getting used to it. Plus there was the extra excitement of the new season, trying to calm some nerves down.”
Montminy showed some calm nerves on the winner.
She outdueled a Lady Eagle defender for the ball about 20 yards away from the net, near the corner of the penalty box. The sophomore stepped around the defender and booted the ball inside the far post.
“I saw the ball pop up pretty high in the air,” Montminy said. “I knew I had to go and battle (for) it. Then I was able to get it and slide it past the keeper.”
BEA coach Jared Moore could see the play would provide a teaching moment.
“We talk about good communication back there, and if someone would have called for (her to take her) time, she would have taken a touch and then cleared it,” he said. “Instead of having to rush it. We emphasize how important it is to talk no matter what.”
Penns Valley had several chances to score earlier in the half but could not convert, denied by Eagle defenders and sending shots high or wide.
BEA’s Zoey McHenry scored the first goal of the season in atypical fashion. From about 30 yards away she lofted a shot toward the goal that bounced over Brown’s hands, ricocheted off the post, bounded along the goal line and, just before Brown could get back to sweep the ball away, found the net just inside the opposite post in the final seconds of the first half.
“There were definitely some heads down; disappointing in that last minute to concede (a goal),” Beverly said. “We made a couple changes, talked about some things to look at and had a pretty good response.”
Montminy took care of the response less than a minute after the break, rushing up the right flank and delivering a strike to the far post.
“We talked at halftime about coming out strong and we didn’t,” Moore said. “We came out on our heels and they put one in right away.”