TURNER — Leavitt knew there was some good fortune involved in escaping Friday’s first half against Lincoln with a lead.

There was skill and toughness involved, too, of course, which the No. 7 Hornets flaunted in even greater quantities to increase and protect that margin and walk away with a 2-1 Western Class B girls’ soccer preliminary playoff win over KVAC rival No. 10 Lincoln.

Outshot by a 13-5 margin before the break, Leavitt (6-7-2) parlayed a header by McKenzie Varney and the tireless work of goalkeeper Angela Daigle into the halftime advantage.

Tatiana Sierra followed up a near-miss by Shannon O’Malley to make it 2-0 early in the second half, and neither a goal by Chloe Hallowell nor a flurry of additional opportunities for Lincoln (6-6-3) could overcome the Hornets’ early success.

“Once we get going, we work as a team, and you can tell we play great that way,” Sierra said.

Daigle made eight of her 10 saves in the first half for Leavitt, which travels to No. 2 Greely for the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Lincoln won the regular-season meeting by the same 2-1 tally, and the Eagles enjoyed a majority of the early offensive ventures in the rematch.

Hallowell and Barrett Campbell peppered Daigle throughout the half. In addition to the eight shots within the frame, numerous others trickled just wide, thanks largely to the efforts of Emily Miller, Taylor Benson, Varney and the Leavitt defense.

“Coach (Chris Cifelli) has always said a good defense makes you a better goalie,” Daigle said. “I really wouldn’t have been able to save some of those balls if I didn’t have them in front of me. Really it’s all them. They make the shots a lot easier to save.”

Daigle’s gem of the half was a charging, sliding save to turn away Campbell with 12 minutes to go.

By then, she already had the luxury of the 1-0 lead. Leavitt turned its first offensive rush of any kind into a goal when Varney ran under Amanda Poulin’s perfectly placed corner kick at the far post.

“Getting a goal, it gets everybody excited,” Varney said. “You know you can do better from there on.”

Leavitt was happy to take that lead and run with it at the break.

“We knew he hadn’t played a great half. They went to the ball better than we did, possessed the ball a little better than we did and I think had more energy,” Cifelli said.

Miranda Achorn made a tough leaping save against O’Malley early in the second half. The ball jarred free, however, and Sierra filled the open net with 33:35 to go.

Hallowell took advantage of a defensive lapse for the answer with 28:05.

“I knew we were going to need at least two, and a third would have been nice,” Cifelli said. “Sometimes you get that and it’s a nice cushion, but you don’t realize it isn’t enough to come back and play all defense.”

Offensive bids were more plentiful for the Hornets in the second half, limiting the Eagles’ comeback hopes.

Lincoln did possess the ball for most of the final three minutes, including a corner kick that arched perilously in front of the cage with 1:30 to play. Nobody got to the post for the Eagles, however, and Victoria DeCoster cleared it to give the Hornets breathing room.

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