Press "Enter" to skip to content

Twin Valley girls soccer clinches Berks II title with win over Fleetwood

Twin Valley junior Ashley Lavrich remembers what it was like to see other teams win titles.

During her freshman and sophomore seasons, the Raiders finished fourth in Division II of the Berks Girls Soccer League, winning just five league games over that two-year span. With little success, Twin Valley looked on as Daniel Boone won back-to-back division crowns and headed for the postseason.

Lavrich and the Raiders ensured they would not be playoff spectators again in 2022. An improbable one-year turnaround reached a milestone on Thursday night when Twin Valley defeated Fleetwood 3-1 on the road to clinch the Berks II title and a spot in the BCIAA playoffs.

“The past years, I’ve seen other teams win and I just see them all celebrate,” Lavrich said. “To actually have that experience now, it’s just crazy to really take that in.”

The Raiders (7-2, 11-5) took a 3-0 lead in the first half on Thursday night and never looked back, holding on for their second victory over the Tigers (5-4, 10-5-1) this season. After benefitting from a Fleetwood own goal early in the half, Lavrich and fellow junior Emma McNamee each scored to propel Twin Valley to the win.

“We really pulled together,” Lavrich said. “(We) played the game with our hearts.”

With one league game remaining, the Raiders already have reached their highest league win total since going 7-6 in in 2009. As the Berks II champions, Twin Valley will advance to the county playoffs for the first time since 2019.

“That was their goal,” coach Craig Hafer said about making the postseason. “It seemed like a fantasy at the time. Sometimes your dreams come true.”

In his first year as head coach at Twin Valley, Hafer has played a pivotal role in transforming a team that went 5-12-1 overall a season ago into a contender. Hafer credited his players for committing to the program’s new culture and fresh style of play.

“It comes down to the girls,” Hafer said. “It was very different for all of them, and they bought into it. It was (about) their ability to accept and work as a team.”

The Raiders have fostered success through a collective effort, as nine players have scored a goal this season. Twin Valley leads Berks II with 36 goals through 16 games, a notable increase after it scored 24 goals in 18 games a year ago.

On defense, the Raiders have allowed just 15 goals, the second-fewest in the league. Senior goalkeeper Leah Schlimme has been strong, including in Thursday’s victory, when she recorded four saves.

“We’re a Cinderella team that’s been playing as a unit,” Hafer said. “It’s just been a great team effort.”

Lavrich, one of the team’s captains, leads the Raiders with 18 goals this season after entering the year with 15 in her career. The junior also has two assists.

“You’re talking about a very talented player, but a very unselfish player,” Hafer said. “She really has bought into this and just really has led this team emotionally. (She is) an exceptional player that we’re lucky to have on our team.”

While she is having a breakout season, Lavrich was quick to acknowledge Hafer and her teammates for their support.

“Coach Hafer has done a really good job of helping this team connect more with each other,” Lavrich said. “The team is everybody, and there’s so many people out there that gave it their all and I just want them to understand that I really appreciate them.”

With two regular season games remaining before the playoffs begin, Twin Valley is eager to continue competing for titles instead of watching from afar.

“With good coaching, with great players, with great support from the families, you can turn it around,” Hafer said. “We just couldn’t be prouder of everyone. We’re making history, and it’s been a crazy ride.”

Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: