Girls soccer: Dickson delivers golden goal for unbeaten Sterling (PHOTOS)

After more than 87 minutes of scoreless soccer, nerves were a little frayed all over the field.

That’s when junior Bridget Dickson finally lifted the tension for unbeaten Sterling, scoring the golden goal just under eight minutes into the first overtime period on Tuesday to deliver a 1-0 win over West Deptford in Somerdale.

With back-to-back Colonial Conference Liberty Division wins over arch-rivals Haddonfield (2-1 last Friday) and West Deptford, the Defending division Champs served notice that they’re still the team to beat, despite some key graduation losses.

“West Deptford is a great team – they’re one of our biggest rivals,” said Dickson, who has a team-high eight goals this season. “So, it always feels good to get one, especially an overtime win. It was a lot of fun. They have a physical, strong and fast defense and that’s how I play too. It’s always a battle against them.”

It was a battle that looked like it might end without a winner.

The Silver Knights, who had outscored their opponents 17-3 coming into the game, just couldn’t generate many high-quality scoring chances, despite getting 10 corner kicks.

That could partly be attributed to the job done by West Deptford backs Janie Cross, Ava Yates and Talia Thomasson, who kept Sterling’s attackers from getting behind them throughout regulation.

But in the OT, sophomore Antonia Troilo started the game-winning sequence by sending a through ball that Dickson was able to run down through two Defenders before one-timing a shot past keeper Ryann Iannotti and into the open right side of the net.


“Toni and I are both fast and know how to work the ball together,” said Dickson, who led the Silver Knights with 10 goals as a sophomore. “I knew she would find me – and she did.’

“This definitely makes us feel better about ourselves – knowing we can win a tough game like this, especially in overtime,” added Sterling junior back Maddie Whalen. “Now we feel a lot more confident about out chances to win the conference again.”

Dickson’s goal capped an overtime period that was dominated by the Silver Knights (5-0).

“We came out strong, changed our formation a little bit and just tried to put some numbers up there and see what we could do,” Sterling Coach Jimmy Kay said.

Both teams had a great opportunity to win it in the second half.

Iannotti came up huge for the Eagles (4-2) about Midway through the half when she dove to her left to deflect a shot that was earmarked for the upper right corner of the net.

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West Deptford had its best scoring chance late in the contest when Lexy Yeager headed the ball towards the net off a corner and Sterling keeper Madison Sims was able to snatch it with another Eagle right next to her and ready to knock it home.

“That was very close,” said Whalen. “There were a lot of scary times in this game because one mistake and you know it’s over.”

Sims, a freshman, stopped seven shots for the shutout and got strong support from her backs, including Whalen, Lexi Burckley, Erin Quinn and Mandy Burckley.

The Knights and Eagles split their two meetings a year ago and have cultivated an intense rivalry in recent years.

Kay said they spent much of the day stressing about the matchup.

“West Deptford is more Athletic than we are on the field and I knew it would be a tough game for us to get the opportunities we needed to get against them,” he said. “I knew they’d come in hungry because they’d already dropped a conference game and didn’t want to drop another. These Liberty Division games could go either way, any day. They play a skilled, physical style of soccer like us. It was a great game, and our goal is to stay the path and get stronger as the year goes on.

“We’re still soul-searching and trying to fill some shoes. We had strong Seniors last year and those girls showed us what it’s like to gut these kinds of games out and what it’s like to play hard. This group needs to learn what it’s like to play into November and play overtime games. A game like this can only build our confidence.”

For West Deptford, it was another heart-breaker just four days after losing another division game to Haddon Township, which scored a goal in the second OT for a 3-2 win.

“I told them just keep their heads up, to keep battling and keep playing as a team,” West Deptford Coach Jennifer DiLorenzo said. “Both teams gave everything they had. Two overtime losses, but I know our team plays for each other and we’ll definitely come together and continue to play for each other.”

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