LEWISTOWN - Mifflin County couldn't have played a better first half Thursday against Carlisle.
Down 1-0 through the first 40 minutes, the Huskies were playing some of the best soccer they had shown all season. But the Thundering Herd had something to say about that in the second half.
Carlisle scored five goals, one of which came just 31 seconds into the final half, to take down Mifflin County 6-0 in Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division boys soccer.
The Huskies did all they could to keep the Thundering Herd at bay in the first half. And it wasn't until 13 minutes into the game that Carlisle scored its first goal. That's a far cry from how Mifflin County's first game with Carlisle went.
Three weeks ago, Mifflin County traveled to Carlisle. It left with a serious 11-1 defeat the Thundering Herd scored three goals in the first five minutes of that game.
But in Thursday's game, after Mifflin County allowed Carlisle's Evan Collins to scrap out a goal to take a 1-0 lead, the Huskies stingy defense continued throughout the first half.
IF YOU GO
* Mifflin?County travels to Central Dauphin Tuesday
"The first goal was just a lack of communication," Mifflin County coach Jared Byler said. "We preach pressure, cover defense. Two guys pressured the ball and nobody filled."
But Byler's squad continued to pick up the pressure and keep Carlisle from getting any more scoring chances in the first half.
"After that, the boys picked it up and communicated in the back," he said.
Offensively for Mifflin County, things could have been better early on. But the Huskies were shot for shot with the Thundering Herd.
James Wilburne had Mifflin County's best chance to even the game following the Thundering Herd's first score. The Mifflin County senior blasted a shot from 25 yards out but fired just high over the crossbar.
"Our fundamentals haven't been there," Byler said. "Guys were passing and moving today. It was great to see them play to their potential in the first half."
Things took a turn for the worst early and often for Mifflin County in the second half.
Carlisle's Gabe Stasyszyn took a direct kick from about 25 yards out just 31 seconds in and buried it over the reaching hand of Mifflin County keeper Derek Heimbach. But the Herd wasn't done yet.
Edoardo Scanu and Zachary Mitchiner did the heavy lifting just four minutes later to put Carlisle up 4-0 with only five minutes gone in the second half. Those two goals came a minute apart.
"They made the adjustments they needed to make," Byler said. "They came out with a lot of fire and got some more speed."
Mifflin County's offensive struggles picked up in the second half. For most of the 40 minutes, the Huskies were playing defense and had very few offensive opportunities.
"Give them credit," Byler said. "They had a game plan and it worked."
The Thundering Herd added two more goals 10 minutes after Mitchiner's tally. Stasyszyn and Keanan Wilson got credit for the last two goals.
Mifflin County travels to Central Dauphin East Monday.