High School Sports

Witkin’s saves get Corinth Holders by Smithfield-Selma in soccer


A well-orchestrated goal in the first half and one from the penalty spot in the second were enough to send the Corinth Holders girls soccer team into spring break undefeated as the Pirates turned back Smithfield-Selma Thursday, 2-0.

Lexi Chase collected a nice feed from freshman Grace Farmer in the sixth minute and gave Corinth Holders the early lead while another freshman, Carolina Solis, earned a penalty kick and subsequently buried it early in the second half to seal the game.

The Pirates’ midfield controlled the contest despite not being at full strength with a lot of that credit going towards senior Allie O’Hara.

“I felt like my other senior (O’Hara), who played that role, did a very nice job,” Corinth Holders coach Alison Vetterl said. “She’s really one that we’ve asked to do whatever and she’s done it and she’s actually done a very good job.”

O’Hara and company did their part to control the flow of the game in the midfield and, just over five minutes into the Two Rivers 3A Conference match, helped to get the Pirates on the scoreboard.

Corinth Holders kept the Spartans pinned in after an attempted clearance when Hunter retrieved the ball and then sent a diagonal pass through to Chase who calmly knocked the ball back across the mouth of the goal into the net.

The Spartans (4-4-1, 1-2) created a great chance to level the score before halftime when freshman Natalie Sabiston wove a path down the middle of the pitch before finding Leslie Paramo inside the penalty box for a point blank shot.

But Paramo’s shot was punched away by Pirates’ keeper Rachel Witkin.

Witkin was only challenged one other time in the contest, but she needed to come up big when Sabiston yet again pushed the ball past three Corinth Holders defenders only to have her shot aimed at the far post tipped away at the last second by a diving Witkin.

“We take good shots at goal,” Smithfield-Selma coach Stacy Holland said. “We just weren’t lucky enough for them to fall for us tonight. Their keeper made a couple great saves tonight.”

Despite peppering Smithfield-Selma goalkeeper Caroline Carter with shots all game, the only one the Pirates were able to get past the sophomore net-minder was on the Solis free kick eight minutes after halftime.

As Solis received a ball down the left wing at the end of the box, a quick turn led to her being taken down.

The freshman then tallied her 10th goal of the season on the subsequent penalty kick as she beat Carter to the left side of the goal for the 2-0 lead.

That would be all for vaunted attack displayed by Corinth Holders as the Spartans’ defense maintained its shape for much of the game and prevented the hosts from getting in alone on Carter.

“Defensively, we played an outstanding game,” said Holland. “For some reason, we’re just not quite connecting the defense with the offense and getting it pushed up the midfield. If we can get our midfield on the same page, then the turnouts will be a lot different.”

Corinth Holders (7-0 overall, 3-0 Two Rivers) is becoming used to having underclassmen step up as the squad with just two seniors has a bevy of talented freshmen and sophomores at its disposal.

“It’s really nice to have a really bright future,” offered Vetterl. “We ended the game without a senior on the field and six freshmen.

“It’s only going to make us better as a program.”