LEWISTOWN - Even in defeat, small victories could be found. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon as a new era started for the Mifflin County girls soccer team when it went head-to-head with Central Dauphin East in its first appearance as a member of the Mid-Penn Conference's Commonwealth Division.
It was also the debut of new coach Steven DeArment.
Though the Huskies fell 4-0 in the contest, the young team from Mifflin County led in all the other categories.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Mifflin County’s Haley Predix (13) sends the ball upfield past Central Dauphin East’s Kerri Kuntz (8) Tuesday in Lewistown.
Also, the Huskies tightened their defense in the second half, holding the speedy Panther team to just a lone goal after giving up three in the first half.
Mifflin County outshot the Panthers 24-18 while also taking the advantage in the corners shot opportunities by a 6-1 margin.
"It's the first game of the season. I thought we were super nervous. We just didn't look like ourselves the first 20 minutes. We gave them an early lead and we weren't able to come back," DeArment said. "But we had a lot of positives. I thought Halle Fisher did a nice job in goal. I thought offensively we looked good - we created a lot of chances. The goals will come when you get chances like that."
Two big factors kept the Huskies from the victory.
Central Dauphin East keeper Sami Goodyear had a great night in the net as she snagged numerous Husky shots that robbed the young players from goals.
The other came from the foot of forward Paris Winston. Winston seemed to be at the right place at the right time, finishing with a hat trick.
However, the play of the night came from the hands of Mifflin County keeper Fisher.
With 22:21 showing on the second period clock, the Huskies were called for a penalty kick. Central Dauphin East brought heavy hitter Lindsey D'Agostino to the ball.
The two stared each other down as D'Agostino went for the kick. Fisher's eyes went right to the ball and stopped her shot cold.
In the first half, the Huskies got the ball to start things off but quickly saw the ball and the possession go into their defensive end.
After taking the first shots of the game, Central Dauphin East went back on defense where it had two shots sent Goodyear's way.
The Panthers drew first blood eight minutes in when Winston picked up her first goal, sailing it past the Mifflin County defense, making it 1-0.
On the following possession, the Huskies had a chance to tie the game, pushing the ball down the field, but a shot by Alexis Kibe sailed just over the top of the bar.
Both teams were playing both sides of the ball very aggressively but the veteran Central Dauphin East offense found a crack in the Mifflin County defense.
At the 25-minute mark of the first half, the Panthers upped their lead to 2-0. D'Agostino sent one to the upper corner of the goal to extend the lead.
Minutes later, Winston put the Huskies in a difficult position when she picked up goal No. 2 midway through the half.
But both defenses stiffened and the game went into the intermission at 3-0.
Mifflin County's defense made the right adjustments at the half to give the Panther offense fits the rest of the way.
However, the Panthers' defense made it hard as well, packing the back third and making it harder for the Huskies to get an open look at the net.
Winston got one last shot at the scoreboard when she lit one up on a breakaway, ending the game scoring at 4-0.
"We are a pretty young team and we'll keep working at it and we'll get there," DeArment said.
Mifflin County (0-1, 0-1) travels to Cumberland Valley Thursday.