HERSHEY>> The Twin Valley Raiders are two wins from a state championship.
The Raiders (25-2) drubbed District 5 champion Forbes Road 7-0 Saturday afternoon, at Spartan Stadium on the campus of Milton Hershey School, to move into the PIAA Class AA semifinals. They’ll face Crestwood on Tuesday, which beat Greenwood in overtime.
Twin Valley did not make it out of the first round of states a year ago. But coach Kim Walsh’s crew is a year older and a year better and it showed at Spartan Stadium, with a dominance at both ends of the field that began almost immediately and carried throughout 60 minutes of play.
Mikenna Allen, Kelee Lepage and Kendra Jones each scored two goals in the shutout win. For Lepage, it was her 44 and 45th tallies of the season.
At the other end, the Raiders held the Cardinals (17-4) without a shot on goal, while piling up 12 on besieged Forbes Road keeper Olivia Hall.
“Our game plan was to come out hard and to play hard. We gave ourselves opportunities and we put them in,” Walsh said. “We work really hard as a team and we recover (defensively) immediately, so it rarely actually gets back to our defense.
“Our midfield was stopping them. Our mids are so solid on defense that they don’t let anything get back.”
Twin Valley took the lead 10:43 into the contest, when Allen slotted a shot home from in close moments after the Raiders had a rising shot of a goal disallowed on what was deemed “a dangerous play” by officials.
A scant 3:14 later, the Raiders doubled the advantage on Lepage’s first of the game. She added her second just 1:36 after that — with 14:23 to play in the first half — and the rout was on. Allen’s second of the game made it 4-0 with 7:19 left in the half.
“We have girls who can put the ball in the back of the cage and they’ll do anything to do it,” Walsh said. “They want it so badly that they get them in.”
The Raiders have moved into rarefied air with Saturday’s win. Walsh is excited for her crew but also pleasantly surprised they’re still playing in mid-November.
“Crestwood is always a tough opponent,” Walsh said, “so Tuesday will tough, but it’ll be a great game.
“I had no idea. I knew we had the talent; it was matter of our freshman stepping up. That, I wasn’t expecting. … These girls come out hard every single day and they absolutely deserve this.”
PIAA Class AA quarterfinal
At Milton Hershey School
Forbes Road – 0 0 — 0
Twin Valley – 4 3 — 7
TV – Mikenna Allen, 19:17
TV – Kelee Lepage, 16:03
TV – Lepage, 14:23
TV – Allen, 7:19
TV – Kendra Jones, 18:33
TV – Jones, 8:23
TV – Riley Knapp, 6:06
Shots on goal
TV 12, FR 0
TV 9, FR 0
TV (Gina Gatto) 0, FR (Oliva Hall 4, team 1) 5
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