Sep. 21—ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — If the Pymatuning Valley girls soccer team has learned anything this season, it's what it's like to have a target on their back.
The Lakers defeated Edgewood Tuesday night 2-0 in a county clash at Corlew Stadium.
The win kept PV undefeated this season at 6-0-2.
The strong start is something that reigning county player of the year Leah DeMoss said is something the opposition has noticed.
"Most definitely," she said. "After being no one for so long, everybody is starting to notice us now. We know we have a target on our back and we can't expect the game we won previously means nothing for the game we're playing now."
The way Edgewood (2-7) battled Tuesday night was the perfect example of what DeMoss mentioned.
While limited with attack opportunities, the Warriors' defense played a determined 80 minutes and disrupted the Lakers' offensive arsenal.
DeMoss scored at the 25:10 mark of the first half on a shot that slipped through the arms of keeper Hailey Exley.
The score remained 1-0 until late in the second half, when DeMoss finally got a clean look at the net and beat Exley to the left corner of the net.
Zoey Painter assisted on both scores.
"They had a stacked defense, they were stacking the middle hard," DeMoss said of the Warriors' defense. "But, our wings are excellent. They have speed and they know how to get the ball right where you want it. Easy touches, give and go, speed was our key [tonight]."
Speed and strong wing play were keys for PV, as was the defensive effort, according to coach Jerry King.
The Lakers' midfielders and back line limited Edgewood's possession time, thus keeping the pressure on at the other end throughout the match.
"That's the one thing that we pride ourselves on is having great defense," King said. "Having a good defense gives our offense a lot of opportunities. Sometimes it hurts you in a way because the ball is down there so much, everything gets bogged down. We really try to work on playing it wide and getting good crosses and finishes."
On the other bench, first-year Edgewood coach Kaytee Shimek said her team knew what they were up against but were ready to meet the challenge.
"We actually scrimmaged them at the beginning of the season and I think they beat us 5-0," she said. "The girls had that in the back of their head all season. They really took this and they have grown a lot.
"We've grown offensively, defensively, passing, everything. We knew going into this game it wasn't going to be the same. We went all out and our defense played amazing. Our forwards were connecting passes. We played a good style of soccer and I'm very proud of them."
PV outshot Edgewood 12-3.
Exley had 11 saves, while PV keeper Kendall Gray collected four.
The Lakers are scheduled to play at Conneaut on Thursday, while Edgewood will play host to Grand Valley the same night.