The Wallenpaupack Area girls' soccer team closed out its regular season Tuesday night, under the stadium lights with a league match hosting rivals Honesdale.
Traditionally the final home game of the season is when the team recognizes the accomplishments of its senior class members.
Leave it to a 10th grader to steal the show.
On the Attack
Just under five minutes into the game, sophomore Skylar Wirth opened the show with a shot right down the middle and netted her first goal of the night putting the Lady Bucks up 1-0.
A quick drive by Honesdale came up short against Samantha Rodriguez, tending net for Paupack.
Cleared from the zone, senior Hope Decker brought it up, took a shot that went off a defender, and while the keeper was looking the other way, senior Nicki Mann chipped it in for her first goal of the night. Make it 2-0 Buckhorns.
The Purple & White kept up the assault and landed a few good shots but all were stopped or saved by Honesdale's Alison Martin.
The Hornets' defense was pretty tough and set up the strikers on several occasions.
Finally, Rylee Panis shook the Paupack net and it was a 2-1 game.
That, however, wouldn't last long as Wirth, once more unassisted, while the keeper was tied up after shots from Decker and Mann, sneaked one in making it 3-1.
Then with a minute left, Jahmia Bridges, with a lunging kick from just a few feet in front of the net, sent one to the back of the goal and the period ended with Paupack ahead 4-1.
Page 2 of 3 - Ten minutes elapsed in the second half before Decker crossed to Mann who went down the middle and drilled in her second goal of the night, taking it to 5-1.
Just minutes later, Wirth got some help from Bridgette Mann and took the score to 6-1 and giving her a hat trick.
Just three minutes would go by before Wirth would pass off to Nicki Mann, who once more took advantage of an open net, securing another Paupack hat trick, and driving the tally to 7-1.
Finally, with just over half the period played, Wirth struck once more after getting set up by Taylor Ruziecki. Her fourth goal took the score to 8-1 where it remained until the buzzer sounded.
Prior to the game, eight Lady Buckhorns were recognized for their achievements on and off the soccer fields.
Four year varsity veteran Tori Ciszak was named player of the year as a sophomore and has served as a captain the past two seasons.
In addition to playing softball, she is an active member of the National Honor Society (NHS), SADD, and has served on student council and has been a peer helper.
Hope Decker has played soccer since 7th grade. She has also run cross country and track.
Hope is active in SADD, the NHS, the newly formed Friends of Rachel, and sings in the church and school choir. She opened the ceremonies by singing the National Anthem.
Raeann Ehrhardt is also a four year veteran of the soccer team and served as a captain her sophomore year.
She has spent a similar amount of time playing basketball and softball for Paupack and tallied a total of ten years playing summer travel softball.
She has been active in student council, SADD, NHS, Friends of Rachel, and peer helper program.
Page 3 of 3 - Captain Nicki Mann has spent four seasons on the pitch and will continue to play basketball and softball later in the school year.
A member of SADD, Friends of Rachel, NHS, and Student Council, she's also active in her church, fundraising for Retinal Research, and the Promised Land Trail cleanup.
Gabrielle Pranzo is also a four year veteran of the soccer team and has spent time on the track team as well.
She has been on the Student Council for four years, as well as the NHS and peer helper program.
Another four year player is Amanda Russo. Off the field she has been active in the Future Business Leaders of America, peer helper program, and NHS.
Taylor Ruziecki, another Paupack Captain, has spent time playing field hockey and on the track in addition to SADD, Friends of Rachel, and the NHS.
Rachel VanTine has been active on the soccer team since eighth grade and lettered in track the last two years.
A volunteer firefighter for several years, she is also active helping as a teacher's assistant at church school.
"This is a great group of girls," stated Head Coach Alicia Sodano. "They've helped build this program to what it is now and it has been great to see them grow."
While the Lady Bucks may have wrapped up the regular season, more awaits as they face Prep for the league title and then move on to the district playoffs.