By Keith Harrington
Before Friday's girl's soccer game between Whitehall and Willsboro eight Railroader seniors were honored on their Senior Day. Whitehall came out aggressive early, but the Warriors scored the only goal of the match as they came away with a 1-0 non-league victory.
Willsboro is the defending Section VII Class D champions and has aspirations of a repeat on their minds, but Whitehall had the upper hand early on.
The Railroaders put heavy pressure on Warrior's goalie Abby Bruno right out of the gate. Both Jayden Hughes and Ava Ruby fired off dangerous shots in the opening minutes of the game that Bruno was forced to fend off.
Willsboro survived the early Railroader attack and scored the first, and only goal of the afternoon. Midfielder Bella Harrison threaded the needle with a gorgeous through ball to Emma Becker who slipped past Whitehall goalkeeper Khloe Paddock for a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute.
Whitehall nearly equalized in with 20 minutes to go in the half when Hughes and Madi Gould hooked up on a pretty give and go, but Bruno came up with the save.
Hughes had another strong chance with just under a minute to go in the half, but again Bruno was up to the task.
The Railroaders displayed excellent soccer skills throughout the game but struggled to finish as they have all season.
"We're talented in a lot of spots and do a lot of good things," Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt said. "I think there's a lot of frustration because we don't score."
With just under 20 minutes left Gould found Blake Bird who blasted a shot that sailed just over the top.
Hughes found Gould with a slick feed into the box with 2:31 to go but Bruno thwarted the attempt once again and the Warriors closed it out from there.
"Hopefully we can keep our chins up," Hunt added. It's kind of tough every night to keep our chins up. I was hoping we could get three (wins) this week. We have a lot of decent kids but we just haven't figured it out."
Paddock had six saves for Whitehall. Bruno recorded the shutout for Willsboro.
Willsboro is now 4-3. Whitehall is 3-9.
Photo Credit: Jen Dickinson