After having a rough season last year not where they didn’t earn a single win, the Williamson Warriors girls soccer team made an unprecedented turn-around this year and put together eight wins and secured a spot in the district playoffs with a huge win against the Sayre Redskins on Friday, Oct. 11.
After starting the year 1-7-1 the Warriors battled back the rest of the season, winning an incredible seven of their last eight contests in order to claim a spot in districts.
The Warriors ors were unable to come up with any wins last season, but with a resilient group of players were able to turn the tides and claw their way into a playoff game.
“The team as a whole has been a surprise to me,” said coach Jason Hungerford when asked about his teams players. “I knew even last season as we suffered a 0-18 season this team had a ton of potential. I was hoping to get a few wins this season and keep building our program. To get to a .500 record and our first district showing ever was something I didn’t think we would achieve and especially in the manner we did.”
The biggest surprise on the teams roster was goalkeeper Abby Ackley. Ackley was not only a first year goalie, but also a first year soccer player for the Warriors. “Her work-ethic, hand-eye coordination, footwork and her mentality on and off the field makes her look like a seasoned player with three or four years of experience. Abby has been a breath of fresh air for us in the net this season, and has given our team a defensive comfort level we haven’t had in past seasons,” Hungerford said.
In their contest against Sayre to clinch a position in the district playoffs, the Warriors played one of their best offensive games of the season as they cruised to a 7-2 victory.
The Warriors netted a total of seven goals in the win which was their third biggest offensive output of the season.
During their district matchup with the Towanda Black Knights on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the weather was a clear factor even before the game started. The contest was moved to the Loyalsock field last minute due to the flooding of the original site during their 5-0 loss to the Black Knights.
During the game, the weather continued to have an effect, with goalkeeper Ackley struggling to get a grip on the ball over the first few minutes of play, with two goals just barely slipping through her hands.
Towanda scored three quick goals, and then the Williamson defense settled in. Ackley made a few extremely difficult saves and played a great game despite what the score insinuated.
In the second half the Warriors became much more aggressive but were unable to capitalize during that stretch. The Williamson team showed a lot of grit during their game, and it should be noted that defensively in the second half they played a much better game as well.
The Williamson girls soccer team showed an extreme amount of resilience this season, rallying from 1-7-1 to make a birth in district play, and their coach was extremely proud of the team they had put together.
“I contribute our success to our team mentality. Since I have taken over, we have always been and always will be a family, not just a team. They are the most selfless, hardworking, big-hearted and coachable kids I have ever seen. They conformed to my style of play and coaching with no problem and listen to and trusted me from the start. We have had games where we were losing double-digits, and still kept our heads up, worked as hard as we could, and focused on getting better not ripping each other apart. We never lost. We learned.“ Hungerford said about the teams success and turn around of his team this season.