The fourth time is the charm.
Host Central Bucks West nearly scored on two of its first three corner kicks Friday night against William Tennent. One kick yielded a shot that hit the left post. West nearly punched in a goal off of a keeper deflection after a second corner.
In the 21st minute, Maeve Shiffler emerged from a scrum on West’s fourth corner and scored to put the Bucks ahead 2-0 en route to a 5-2 victory.
“I was at the right spot at the right time,” Shiffler offered. “I think we might have been getting a little frustrated but we pulled it together and got the shot off.”
Ryan Fitzsimmons broke the scoreless tie four minutes earlier with a 20-yarder. “In that moment we really needed the goal,” Fitzsimmons described. “We had some chances before so I was very happy to put one away from decent distance. Our chances before set me up really well to judge their goalie.”
West went up 3-0 on Shea Lubin’s goal in the 22nd minute. Tennent’s Olivia Miller answered three minutes later; West led 3-1 at halftime.
The Bucks made it 4-1 on Tori Albrecht’s header off of a corner kick set in the 46th minute. It looked like Tennent (3-7) would answer – the Panthers had their own corner less than two minutes later – but Mariella Neri counterpunched with a score in minute 50. Tennent converted a penalty kick in the 69th minute to cap the scoring.
“Our bench plays every second that they’re in,” West coach Mike Moyer shared. “They know if they don’t, that they’re going to come out. If you’re not going to win 50/50 balls and you’re not going to set plays, then you’re not going to play. They know that and they give 110%. That’s what I love about this team.”
West is unbeaten in its last five contests; Miller’s goal was the first the Bucks yielded during that stretch.
“It’s good chemistry. We get the ball out when we need to. Communication is a big thing with us in the back,” credited keeper Jenna Abaza.
West (8-3-1, 4-2-1 Continental) traveled to CB South last Tuesday to complete its first round of SOL Continental play. Goals from Neri, Fitzsimmons, Riley Corona and Taylor Moyer gave West a 4-0 win over its intra-district rival. The Bucks dueled their other intra-district rival CB East to a scoreless tie on Thursday.
“Our bench is very strong and we can rely on other people starting,” Abaza stated. “That really helps.”
“Our bench is deep,” Moyer echoed. “A lot of girls started tonight who usually don’t start. We’re banged up from this week and we’re going to enjoy the rest until next Wednesday when we play at Souderton.”
Like the South game, West’s offense on Friday was a team effort. Seven different girls have scored West’s last nine goals.
“We have a lot of girls who can put the ball away, and that is something that you don’t normally see this day and age,” Moyer said. “Taylor and Ryan have five goals this season, and we have a bunch of girls with two, three or four goals. It’s nice that we can spread it around.”
CB West was idle until Wednesday, when it traveled to Souderton to attempt a season sweep of the Indians. Results weren’t available at press time.
Teams talk about being family but it is literally true at West. Three pairs of sisters start or get quality minutes for the Bucks.
“I really feel like I can talk to anyone. We’re all friends and we do feel like a family,” said Fitzsimmons, naturally a sister to starter Erin Fitzsimmons. “As far as my four years here, this is the closest we’ve been as a team.”