LEWISTOWN - Despite being outnumbered by one player for most of the contest, the Mifflin County girls soccer team put forth a spirited effort, but three second-half goals provided to be costly to the Huskies.
A red card penalty in the goalie box put Mifflin County down one for most of the afternoon. But in the first half, the Huskies showed no signs of letting that affect their play. However, two Central Dauphin goals in the second half - each within a minute of each other - and an insurance goal late in the game allowed the Rams to hold out for the 3-0 victory.
"The fight today was amazing. They played so hard and I am really proud of them," Mifflin County coach Steven DeArment said. "We had a red card early in the game and played probably an hour of soccer (one down). We were one person short for a big part of the game. The girls played hard to the end. That's a tough task against a team that beat us 5-0 the first time. They were troopers today and I'm super proud of them."
The game started as a back-and-forth battle for possession, where Mifflin County picked up the first two shots of the game before allowing a shot from the Rams.
Both shots were stopped by Rams' keeper Samantha Wolfe.
Offensively, Central Dauphin outshot Mifflin County 12-8 and led in corner opportunities 14-0. Mifflin County keeper Halle Fisher collected six saves as well as Wolfe.
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County hosts Altoona Thursday
Around the 20-minute mark, the Rams had two corner opportunities but both times the Mifflin County defense stood tall.
Minutes after the second corner opportunity, Central Dauphin had its third chance at a corner and that's when a shot from a Ram player was touched by a Huskies defender in the net.
The penalty shot resulted in a one-on-one confrontation between Central Dauphin's Ashley Weaver and Fisher. Weaver blasted a shot and it was snagged by Fisher.
The Rams were relentless forcing a total of eight corners in the first half.
Despite all the pressure in the Mifflin County back-third, the Huskies survived the first half, tied at zero.
"I think the spotlight today should be two central defenders: Haley Predix and Kelsey Spicher were fantastic in the center of defense. They closed off a lot of things," DeArment said. "I think they played exceptionally well today."
Eight minutes into the second half, the Rams cashed in their first goal of the game. Anne Long hit a shot off of a corner, making it 1-0 with 32:00 left.
Less than a minute later, teammate Haley Burkholder hit a shot off the fingertips of Fisher, upping the lead to 2-0.
With 18:33 left in the contest, Ashley Weaver put the game on ice for Central Dauphin en route to the victory.
Mifflin County hosts Altoona Thursday.