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Valley Sports Report
SOUTHPORT, N.Y. "” Eighth-grader Lea VanAllen had the game of her young career, scoring five goals - four in a five-minute span, thanks in large part to junior Gabby Picco in Waverly's 7-0 win over arch-rival Notre Dame here Thursday night at Brewer Stadium.

Picco scored one goal, and doled out three assists - all on Lea VanAllen goals - for the Lady Wolverines, who improve to 9-1.

"Tonight was a great game," said Waverly Tara Hogan. "Any game versus (Notre Dame) really brings out the best in us. We made some minor mistakes in the first half, but we cleaned it up the second half.

"Lea VanAllen was on fire tonight," noted Hogan. "Lea made good use of some well-placed passes thanks to Gabby, who assisted three of her five goals. 

"She used her unmatched speed to run onto these balls and took on the goalie 1-v-1 for most of her goals," she added.

About nine minutes into the game, Picco took a feed from Ortiz near the top of the 18, and rifled a low line-drive shot through traffic into the net to give Waverly a 1-0 lead.

In the 27th minute, Lea VanAllen took a feed from Picco on the far sideline, and hit a laser shot that caught the near post and ricocheted into the net to make it 2-0.

Five minutes later, Westbrook fielded a short punt from the keeper, and drove a shot back past her to push the lead to 3-0, which is where it stood at halftime.

"The game was increasingly physical, but it forced us to make better, quicker decisions," said Hogan.

About 17 minutes into the second half, Lea VanAllen took a feed from her sister, senior Sadie VanAllen, and drove home a shot to make it 4-0.

Two minutes later, Lea VanAllen dribbled through the interior of the Notre Dame defense, into a 1-v-1 with the keeper, and knocked it past her for a hat trick.

Less than a minute later, with Notre Dame's defense pushing up toward the offensive end, Picco slid a nice through-ball toward the Lady Crusader net, and Lea VanAllen outran a pair of defenders and drove a shot just under the crossbar to make it 6-0.

In what looked like a replay, Picco and LeaVanAllen connected again just 90 seconds later to cap the Lady Wolverines scoring.

Hogan noted the play of senior defender Cora Smith after the win, as well as that of Picco and Ortiz.

"Cora had one of her strongest games this season," she said. "She was patient and smart.

With Tessa (Petlock) and Bella (Romano) with her, they were so good about covering for each other," noted Hogan.

"Gabby and Melina are crucial playmakers for this team," she added. "I love to watch these girls run off the ball.  Their speed is unbelievable - Sadie (VanAllen), Lea (VanAllen), Kennedy (Westbrook), Melina, and Cora)."

Waverly returns to action Monday when it hosts Newark Valley.


IN PHOTO 1: Waverly's Lea VanAllen. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.

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