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Lady Pioneers run past Riverdale
Katie Toney
Jeffery Simmons photo Katie Toney led the way for the Lady Pioneers as she scored twice to help defeat Riverdale, 5-3.

Katie Toney plays soccer like the Energizer Bunny. She keeps going and going and going.
Toney was a thorn in the side of Riverdale Tuesday, scoring twice in the second half to help the Lady Pioneers down the visiting Lady Warriors 5-3.

“It was a good win. I think we played really well, especially the second half. We were more aggressive,” said coach Todd Willmore. “It’s exciting as a coach to see a number of specific things we worked on in the last few weeks out on the field. We weren’t always successful, but that the girls are doing it is an encouraging sign.

“They’re soaking it all in right now and it should pay dividends down the line.”
The strategy seemed to be get the ball to Toney and get out of the way.

Coming out of halftime tied 2-2, the Lady Pioneers didn’t waste long seizing control. MaKenna Mason found Toney with a pass through the middle and the freshman outraced two Lady Warriors for the ball.

Toney’s shot went low and left of the keeper, tucking into the corner to give Warren County a 3-2 lead just three minutes into the second half.

Rachel Stewart was able to preserve the lead with a pair of saves in the 48th minute, including knocking away a point-blank shot off a corner kick. Warren County gained control, leading to Mason and Toney hooking up again.

Mason made a big run down the left side, working her way around the defense and tight-roping the end line. Mason was able to fend off defenders long enough to drop a centering pass to Toney, who knocked it in from a few feet in front of the net to make it 4-2.

Natalie Stepien showed off her big leg midway through the second half to turn the game into a rout. The freshman defender worked her way up field on the corner kick and was in the right place when Riverdale attempted to clear the ball.

Stepien stepped up from 40 yards out and boomed a shot, sailing it flying toward the Riverdale net. The ball squeezed under the crossbar and over the keeper’s hand to put the Lady Pioneers ahead 5-2.

“I knew it had a chance when she took it. It was nice to see it go in,” said Willmore.

Riverdale added a late goal, but the Lady Pioneers stood tall defensively in the final minutes to earn their second win and improve to 2-2 this season.

Warren County got early goals from Journey Cowan and Sam Ramsey, each answering Riverdale scores as the game went into halftime tied.

The Lady Pioneers will be back in action Tuesday, Aug. 28. The team will travel to play Huntland at 7 p.m.