Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Barone Goal Propels CV past Mounts

Coming into Tuesday night’s L-L League girls soccer semifinal, the buzz was the battle between Ephrata’s highscoring trio of Madison Root, Annie Slovak and Abby Weist and Conestoga Valley’s veteranheavy back five of seniors Adalee Broadbent, Alexis Spencer, Jacque Thornton, sophomore Jordyn Hock and freshman Megan Slingluff.

Meanwhile, the matchup of CV’s balanced scoring punch with the Mountaineers back line was an afterthought.

Until it wasn’t.

Sophomores Madison Delgado and Gabi Barone paired to propel the Buckskins (17-1) to Thursday’s championship match as the Bucks subdued Ephrata, 1-0, at Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Field.

The Buckskins will face defending champion Manheim Township for the title at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Warwick, following the conclusion of the boys title game.

It’s CV’s first final since 2015, when it lost to Elizabethtown.

“The (current) seniors got a little taste their sophomore year,” said Bucks coach Keith Nagley. “They’re anxious to get back.”

Striking suddenly, Delgado served a cross from the left side to Barone, posted midway into the penalty area.

Barone got her head on the cross sending it just inside the left post, and beyond the reach of a rapidly closing Mounts keeper Jocelyn Umana, giving the Bucks the lead with just under 10 minutes to play.

“It all happened so fast,” said Barone, basking in her second gamewinning goal in as many games.

“She (Delgado) just hit it and I tried to get something on it. I didn’t think it was going to go over, it was right near the post.

“It went in and I was like, ‘Yeah!’” Barone said.

“Only being a sophomore ... it’s kind of like a whirlwind,” she said. “It’s not that I’m not used to scoring. I’m used to setting other people up, getting them a good finish.”

Finishing was a difficult process all night for both sides as both defenses ruled. The Mounts, who saw their 18-game winning streak snapped, had 14 chances, but just three shots on goal.

In turn, the Bucks had 18 chances, but just five shots on goal.

“It was a really competitive match the whole way through,” Mounts coach Wes Deininger said. “They’ve (CV) been doing it all year. They don’t give up goals and they find a way to get one or two and take the game.”

Root had two good chances in the first half and, off a second-half corner from Reagan McCarty, Slovak was blocked by Barone rotating back.

“We knew about their big three,” Nagley said. “And they were good! They were solid, with a lot of speed and technical ability.”

The Bucks were denied on a great chance 11 minutes in when Umana punched Broadbent’s free kick over the crossbar.

Then, just before halftime, Umana came way off her line to block Emma Weirich’s shot.

With the match lurching toward overtime, Barone sent the Bucks home.