WILLIAMSPORT - It was the first round of the District 4 Class A playoffs in girls soccer Tuesday at Loyalsock Township High School. But the calm performance the East Juniata girls put on was that of a relaxed, regular-season game.
The Tigers got goals from six different players, including two each from Amber Knouse and Kayla Hoke, and scored eight goals in the first 40 minutes to upend Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, 9-0, Tuesday.
And after 10 minutes of play, it was evident that second-seed East Juniata was going to be moving on in the district bracket. It will await the winner of the Sayre-Benton matchup that will be held today. The Tigers will play the winner of that game Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Sentinel photo by NICK?WAGNER
East Juniata’s McKayla Goodling plays the ball as CMVT’s Jennifer Yeager defends during the District 4 Class A playoffs Tuesday in Williamsport. Looking on is Vo-Tech goalie Bridgette Burgess.
"Once we had the lead it was tough to go out there and put forth the effort they needed to," East Juniata coach Lori Gooding said. "It was nice to get a win and get everyone on the field."
Although each team made long trips to get to Williamsport Tuesday, only one team seemed to get off the bus. The Tigers put on a clinic in the first half.
"This was the first time we played on turf all year," Goodling said. "We wanted them to play two-touch ball and we were able to do that and keep working the ball around."
Every blowout must have a first goal to get the winners started. And it didn't take very long for East Juniata to get on the board.
McKayla Goodling and the Tigers were awarded a corner less than a minute in. The Tiger junior hit a laser from the flag and bent it around Vo-Tech keeper Bridgette Burgess to get East Juniata off and running.
"That's awesome," Lori Goodling said of getting the quick strike. "That gave us a good start. They were ready and I think we had some intensity in the first half."
And that was just the beginning.
The Tigers refused to take their feet off the pedal for the remainder of the first half. And with their next corner opportunity, they cashed in again.
McKayla Goodling took the corner. She served a great ball into defender Autumn Dressler, who was able to head the ball past Burgess to make it 2-0 with less than four minutes off the clock.
East Juniata outshot Vo-Tech 18-1. The lone shot for the Rams was with 20 minutes to play in the second half and by that time the Tigers already held an 8-0 edge. It wasn't a very busy afternoon for East Juniata keepers Zetta Zettlemoyer and Lydia Hunter.
Vo-Tech rarely had the ball in its offensive zone. With defenders Michelle Mease and Maddie Trego controlling space, that end of the field was off limits for the Rams.
"Our defense is pretty strong and steady," Lori Goodling said. "I think it's a testament to the program to what the girls can do."
Following Dressler's header, the game turned into the Kayla Hoke show for the next 10 minutes. Hoke was left free at the 18 and sent a laser past Burgess for her first goal. Her next came just five minutes later when Lauren Maguire set up Hoke for an easy finish. Just like that, 15 minutes in, it was 4-0.
The Tigers went on to double their goal output in the final 25 minutes. Goodling added another goal, while Kasi Horning and Knouse each tallied before the intermission. Also getting of the board for East Juniata was Kayla Snyder.
Snyder's goal came with 30 ticks left on the clock in the first half.
In the second half, East Juniata unloaded the bench and was still able to keep the ball away from the Rams for the most part. And the Tigers had a few chances at the goal as well. They finally made one of those stick.
Knouse found herself behind the Ram defense again. Kiley Sheaffer gave a crisp pass and the Tigers easily had their ninth goal of the game.