Denny Snyder has preached consistency to his Winters Mill girls soccer players all season long.
The coach saw plenty of that consistency Tuesday.
The Falcons used two goals from junior midfielder Erin Snyder to defeat Century 2-0 and captured their first county title victory since 2009. The win also marked the Falcons’ fourth shutout this season.
“We’re feeling good,” Erin Snyder said. “We haven’t beaten Century in a long time so we’re excited about that.”
“It was a nice team win,” Falcons senior goalie Megan Alisauckas added. “A lot of hard work went into that so it felt good.”
The Falcons (8-1, 5-0 county) had 11 corner-kick opportunities and Snyder said those opportunities helped alleviate some early pressure. Junior midfielder Kyla Holt lined up to take an eighth corner attempt for the Falcons with 5 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first half. Senior forward Anna Diffendal got a head on the ball and it was sent down to Snyder, who finished it.
The connection sent the teams into halftime with the Falcons ahead 1-0.
“I felt us press a little bit,” Snyder said. “We continued to create scoring opportunities but again, for us to have that many opportunities and still be a goose egg up there, I think you could see that a little bit of weight was lifted off. That first goal definitely was the momentum swing, there’s no question about it. For us to get to that point, this is a special game. There’s a lot of team continuity and it’s been fun to be a part of and tonight, being able to get that win at Century on the road is a big momentum builder.”
The Falcons kept the pressure moving in the second half, and Century goalie Jordan Vanarsdale remained on her toes. Vanarsdale, a sophomore, made 12 saves, two of which were back-to-back shots from Diffendal early in the second half.
Diffendal connected with Snyder again, with 21:45 remaining in the game. Snyder delivered a clean, low shot from the center to the far left side of the net out of Vanarsdale’s reach.
“My first goal was a great assist off of Anna,” Snyder said. “We’re just always in the right places and it really worked out for us tonight.”
Alisauckas registered 11 saves and has remained a vocal point for the Falcons all season.
“Megan is my rock,” Erin Snyder said. “She helps me so much and she saves me sometimes. I love knowing that she’s back there.”
Denny Snyder praised his defensive unit in holding off the Knights’ attackers. As a whole, the Falcons are getting better all around, he added.
“We still have soccer left in the season and really, it’s about peaking at the right time for playoffs,” Snyder said. “I still think we can play better and we’ll continue to get to that point so we need to keep that momentum going for playoffs.”
The Knights (5-7-1, 3-2) won the county title the past five years — they shared a piece of it with Manchester Valley in 2014. Knights senior defender Kaylee Titus said despite the Knights’ positive ball movement the effort wasn’t all there.
Coach Sara Figuly agreed.
“I don’t think everybody on the field gave 100 percent effort tonight,” Figuly said. “We have to work as one unit, one team and we started off slow and never really came back from it. We had our opportunities, we just made too many mistakes.”
Goals: WM-Erin Snyder 2.
Assists: WM-Anna Diffendal 2.
Saves: WM-11 (Megan Alisauckas); C-12 (Jordyn Vanarsdale).
Halftime: Tied, 0-0.