Lady Dragons roll past Franklin

FRANKLIN, Pa. – The Warren Lady Dragons entered their region game against Franklin with a few question marks.

Some because Franklin is a new program playing their first season in region play. Other questions were if the team could take the lessons from last week and improve as they head closer to their demanding mid September home stand playing Meadville , Hickory , General McLean and McDowell all over a 7-day period.

The result was a dominant one, an 8-0 victory that saw Mackenzie Bickling score four goals.

“This week is important. We have an opportunity this week to tune up for a very challenging couple of weeks ahead of us,” said coach Jeremy Bickling.

It didn’t take long for the Lady Dragons to start tuning up.

After winning the ball from Franklin just seconds into the game, they pushed down to the field attacking the Knights’ goal forcing a corner kick . Warren was awarded a penalty kick on the corner kick when a Franklin player had committed a had ball infraction in the goal box. Senior Mackenzie Bickling put away the penalty kick to get the Lady Dragons on the board just 90 seconds into the game.

Warren continued to press the Franklin keeper with another 20-plus shot night . Despite the number of shots they were unable to connect for a second goal until about the midpoint of the first half.

Again it was Bickling putting the finishing touches on the goal, this time receiving a well placed pass from MJ Fadale.

“MJ is playing at a great a level . She’s fit and playing very skilled soccer,” coach Bickling said.

Warren finished the half with a comfortable 2-0 lead having faced just 2 shots on goal.

“We did all the things we needed to do in the first half , but we were a little flat,” he said. “We can’t take a night off mentally. Every game counts, it’s where we learn and improve”

Improve is exactly what they did in the second half scoring two goals with in the first 10 minutes, both coming within 60 seconds of each other.

Aubrianna Navaroli punched in a pass from Kyleigh Wilson.

” That was an amazing hustle play by Ky to get to the ball and find Aub for the goal,” Bickling noted.

That goal was quickly followed by Bickling getting her first hat tick of the season heading in a crossing ball from Paige Johnson.

“That was a highlight reel goal. Every part of it was a high level of soccer,” coach Bickling said. “Paige’s cross was perfect and Mack made a great run to get her head on the cross to get the goal. Brilliant play”

The Lady Dragons were not content with those two goal in quick succession. They repeated the same sort of back to back scoring scenario about 10 minutes later in the game.

Junior Sawyer Mohney picked up a loose ball in the midfield and launched a long range shot perfectly over the top of the goalkeeper’s gloves. That was immediately followed by Bickling picking up her fourth goal of the evening, firing a long range shot as well over the keeper.

“It’s great to have Sawyer back. She’s a huge key to our success,” coach Bickling said. “Mack worked hard tonight, especially her header. It was great to see her and the girls have success for their efforts”

Warren never slowed up as new faces wanted to get in on the action

This time it was junior Mikaala Deppen. Deppen made a far post run to finish off a ball that made its way across the goal box . It was the junior’s first varsity goal.

“Mikaala has worked hard leading up to the season,” said Bickling. “Her confidence is growing each time she steps on the field and it was great to see her get a goal with her smarts and hustle.”

The Lady Dragons weren’t done just yet . With under one minute to play they took a goal kick from keeper Alyssa Andersen and went the length of the field in just a few passes to score as time was running out on the clock. Jessica Susz finished of precise pass from Fadale to finish out the game.

“I was very pleased with the last goal,” coach Bickling said. “We didn’t start the game with a ton of energy or focus on the tasks. The last score didn’t mean anything to the score, but to see their desire and urgency to score … yeah that was a great way to cap the night off.”

Alyssa Andersen recorded her third shut out of her young career .