Finals bound

OBSERVER Staff Report

Jessica Wilcox scored the game’s lone goal on a penalty kick to give the No. 2 Pine Valley Lady Panthers the victory over the No. 3 North Collins Lady Eagles in Saturday’s Section 6 Class D girls soccer semifinal contest at Dunkirk’s Karl Hoeppner Field.

Wilcox took possession of the ball around the 30-yard line, put the ball on the ground and dribbled through a couple of defenders on her way to the goal. As Wilcox entered to the 18-yard box to make a play she got tripped up by a Pine Valley defender and was awarded a penalty kick. Wilcox cashed in on the penalty kick to score first and only game of the contest.

“Despite the wind being against us during the second half, the team fought well and continued to stay together,” Pine Valley coach Matt Edwards said. “We had good passes on the ground and defensively they just marked up and played their assignments.”

North Collins didn’t go down without a fight. For the final few minutes of the match the Lady Eagles applied relentless pressure and kept the Lady Panthers pinned in their own zone. In the end it wasn’t enough as Pine Valley moves on to play the winner of West Valley and Ellicottville on Nov. 1 in Dunkirk.

“I couldn’t be more proud of their performance,” North Collins coach Tim Flanagan said. “It just didn’t work our way today; it’s the way it goes. I hate to lose on a penalty kick and that was the only score of the entire game. But my girls played with heart and played with everything they had. It just wasn’t our day and sometimes that’s just how it goes in sports.”