Twin Valley girls advance to quarterfinals

WILMINGTON — Jayden Crawford's first start in goal was impressive.

The freshman keeper made three quality saves and earned a shutout to help the eighth-ranked Twin Valley varsity girls soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over No. 9 Sharon Academy in the first round of the Division 4 Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Hayford Field.

It was the first playoff win for the Wildcats since 2013.

"I told the four seniors to make sure this wasn't their last game. They worked their tails off out there," said Twin Valley coach Chris Walling.

Tayler Courchesne took three shots, Callie Dix played well in the back, Jordyn Bolognani scored the game-winning goal, and Tatyanna Bowman did a little bit of everything.

"She did goal kicks, free kicks, sprinted back to help on defense. She is just phenomenal," Walling said of Bowman. "I think she ate her Wheaties before this game, because her kicks were going so far."

Bowman drove the ball from midfield into the Sharon Academy zone early in the second half, just before Bolognani got control of it and tucked a shot inside the right post to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage with 39:05 remaining.

"I'm not sure if their goalie ever saw it. There were a few bodies in front of her," commented coach Walling.

And the Wildcats made the defensive plays they needed to the rest of the way. Rita Messing got her foot on a ball that was headed into the goal, Olivia Genella and Tiffany Spiegel each hustled back to disrupt a breakaway, and Sadie Boyd intercepted a pass.

"I thought we played well and we clearly dominated play," stated Walling. "We had so many near misses. I don't think they really ever threatened us."

Sharon's best chances came in the first half, but Crawford was able to stop shots by Tommi Hoyt, Eliza Masteller and Novah Conway.

Meanwhile, Bowman was pressuring the Phoenix often. Her corner feeds were flying head-high across the goal face and her free kicks were often driven toward the crossbar.

The 5-9-1 Wildcats will play at top-seeded Arlington in Saturday's quarterfinal at 1 p.m.


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