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BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – It took half a century to ascend to the top of the mountain. That was the easy part.

Now, the tough part is staying there.

On a sticky Wednesday evening on Northern Lebanon High School’s brand new turf field, the Vikings’ girls’ soccer team posted another positive result in their encore season, a 1-0 edging of Lancaster Catholic. Northern Lebanon got on the board early and some subsequent tight marking made it stand up.

With the result, the Vikings improved to 6-1 on the year and 3-1 in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Northern Lebanon is coming off its best season in program history, one in which it claimed its first-ever section championship and made its second straight District Three playoff appearance.

Lancaster Catholic slipped to 1-3 on the fall and 1-1 in the circuit.

“I’d like to win the section,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Jeff Snyder. “It would be great to win it two years in-a-row. I think we’re capable of winning it again. We just have to do it. There’s going to be some stiff opposition.

“We lost some key players from last year’s team,” continued Snyder. “But I feel like we’re strong enough to fill those spaces. What we lost with some of those key players we gained in experience from the girls coming up. It’s just their roles have changed. We just need to be scrappy.”

And opportunistic. Northern Lebanon scored on its first shot of the game, three minutes into the contest.

Off a giveaway deep in the Crusaders’ end of the field, Viking junior Madison Bombgardner found teammate Maleah Bishop unmarked in the Lancaster Catholic goal mouth. Bishop used her right foot to beat Crusader goalie Ginny Yost inside the left post.

“We’ve been working on our first five minutes of the game,” said Snyder. “We’ve been working on getting more happening in the first five minutes. That was big for us. Instead of having to dig yourself out of a hole, it’s better to be on top early. It was a good goal. It was good work.

“I always think it helps to get up 1-0 early,” Snyder continued. “I think it definitely sets the pace of the game. I try not to preach having breathing room with a 1-0 lead. It was nice to score early, but we didn’t think it was going to hold at a 1-0 game.”

Northern Lebanon certainly didn’t go into a defensive shell after scoring the early goal, but it did perform well defensively.

The Vikings were able to shield senior netminder Ashlyn Messinger from dangerous chances by controlling the midfield. Lancaster Catholic only managed its first shot of the game with ten minutes remaining.

But control of the midfield certainly didn’t generate a ton of offense for Northern Lebanon.

“I feel like we need to get more going up top,” said Snyder. “We’re not going full speed quite yet. With a four-day break next week, we’re hoping to work on our weaknesses and get the girls a little breather.

“I thought we did well defensively,” added Snyder. “It held steady and it was solid. We’ve got two seniors back there who have really come along. We didn’t panic.”

Northern Lebanon out shot Lancaster Catholic 5-0 in the first half and finished with a 7-2 advantage in that category. Each side took two corner kicks.

“I’m going to say that a win is a win,” said Snyder. “We have some work to do. It’s our seventh game in the first two weeks of the season, and that’s a lot of running. We’ve been playing a lot of ball.

“We’ve just got to keep progressing,” Snyder added. “We need to get some more scoring going. We’re looking to get through this week and get a little breathing time.”

To purchase images in this article please email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Northern Lebanon Girls’ Soccer Schedule

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/04
10:00 am
Northern Lebanon
Big Spring

Nonleague
9/07
4:00 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Northern Lebanon
0
5

League
9/08
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
2
3

League
9/11
10:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Schuylkill Valley
1
0

Nonleague
9/13
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
0
1

League
9/15
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon

League
9/16
7:00 pm
McCaskey
at Northern Lebanon

League
9/18
1:30 pm
Middletown
at Northern Lebanon

Nonleague
9/23
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon

League
9/25
11:00 am
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Country Day

League
9/29
5:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

League
10/02
10:00 am
Susquenita
at Northern Lebanon

Nonleague
10/04
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic

League
10/07
7:00 pm
Fleetwood
at Northern Lebanon

Nonleague
10/11
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/13
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/14
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

Nonleague

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