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Girls Soccer: Winters Mill uses pair of second-half goals to overcome Gerstell in season opener

Winters Mill freshman Kiyomi Mastro said she was too caught up in the moment to realize she had scored her first goal as a varsity team member.

It wasn’t until teammate Madison Harmening ran up to the rookie midfielder and proudly exclaimed that she had done it. The Falcons drew a penalty against Gerstell with 22 minutes, 36 seconds left in the first half and it resulted in a penalty kick.

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Mastro kicked a low shot toward the right side of the net and Gerstell goalie Sydnee Smith caught the ball, mishandled it, and it dropped into the goal. Mastro threw her hands up in celebration, and the Falcons took a 1-0 lead.

Both teams led a balanced attack from there, but Gerstell capitalized on a few of the Falcons mistakes to pick up a 2-1 lead early in the second half. Two more Winters Mill goals, a second from Mastro and one from sophomore Amanda Scholze, gave the Falcons a 3-2 advantage and the season-opening victory.

“We’ve always been a second-half team and this just kind of showed it,” Scholze said. “We never get our heads down and are always there to pick each other up and help each other out.”

Gerstell senior Rachel Manning responded after Winters Mill’s first goal with a free kick from the 18-yard line that sailed to the back of the net to tie the teams 1-1. Kennedy Major, a Gerstell junior, made it 2-1 about three minutes into the start of the second half.

Winters Mill had a freshman connection when forward Beti Bittner found Mastro for another Falcons goal to tie the game 2-2 with 27:37 left to play. Scholze pushed through the Gerstell defense and fired the game-winning shot to the back of the net with about seven minutes to go.

The reigning Carroll County Athletic League champions for a second straight season contained Gerstell’s aggressive push, but managed to hold off the Falcons (0-1).

“This was a game where you really need the team to come together,” Mastro said. “We all had each other’s backs and supported each other in everything we did.”

Smith made four saves in goal for Gerstell, and WM junior goalie Reilly Lockwood made eight.

Winters Mill has compiled a 10-1-1 record against county foes in the regular season over the last two years and the Falcons have had the last three Times Players of the Year — Anna Diffendal won twice in 2016 and 2017, and Erin Snyder was awarded the honor in 2018.

Snyder graduated, along with fellow first team all-countian Kyla Holt, who led the team in scoring last fall. Senior Megan Paschall joined Snyder and Holt on the first team and is back to help command the team’s defensive front.

“For a young team to be able to make those adjustments on the fly, [Gerstell’s] No. 1, 2, and 3 up top are extremely quick and for us to be able to contain them when we had to, I give the defense a lot of credit,” WM coach Denny Snyder said. “I give the whole team a lot of credit.

“Even with the last seven minutes, you have a one-goal lead and I thought we played smart and possessed the ball. I’m extremely ecstatic for them and they busted their butts tonight.”

Goals: G-Rachel Manning, Kennedy Major; WM-Kiyomi Mastro 2, Amanda Scholze.

Assists: WM-Beti Bittner.

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Saves: G-4 (Sydnee Smith); WM-8 (Reilly Lockwood).

Halftime: Tied, 1-1.

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