Benfer, Meadowbrook Christian shut out Lions

McALISTERVILLE – Meadowbrook Christian’s Emily Benfer had her A-game going early and often as she picked up a hat trick and an assist, en route to an 8-0 shutout of an injury-riddled and inexperienced Juniata Mennonite girls soccer team Friday at Juniata Mennonite High School.

Along with Benfer’s three goals, teammate Taylor Gessner also tallied a pair in the Allegheny Christian Athletic Association victory.

With the victory, the team from Meadowbrook Christian remains unbeaten, sporting a 10-0-1 record, while the Juniata Mennonite girls drop to a record of 2-8-1.

“Individually I thought we played well but we just couldn’t connect as a team,” Juniata Mennonite coach Trish Hoffman said. “We have been working through some positioning and we have two people out with injuries so we have been trying a few different things. So I think I have been seeing good things individually we just need to learn to work in those positions as a team.”

In the first half, Meadowbrook exploded for six goals but the Juniata Mennonite defense tightened in the second and allowed only two more the rest of the way.

Meadowbrook Christian took the opening possession and never let up, controlling the ball with clean, crisp passing, opening big passing lanes and hitting the crucial shot when given the ball.

Madison Burrows got the scoring started as she picked up a pass from Kyla Bordner at the 35:33 mark and blasted it to the back of the net.

Less than 10 minutes later, Emily Benfer took the ball down and took it right the heart of the Juniata Mennonite defense and hit the team’s second goal of the game with 27:07 still showing on the clock.

Five minutes later, Olivia Raymond picked up her team’s third goal thanks to a picture-perfect pass from Benfer.

Benfer was just getting started as she picked up her second goal of the contest with 12 minutes left, increasing the lead to 4-0.

Gessner hit her first goal of the game with 4:14 left in the first half, securing the Meadowbrook lead to 5-0.

However, Benfer was not quite done with her first half scoring. With 1:32 left until the intermission, she blasted the corner of the net, ending the first half scoring at 6-0.

Playing for pride, the Juniata Mennonite defense tightened in the second half, collapsing the passing lanes that hindered them in the first half.

The home team held the explosive Meadowbrook offense for the first eight minutes of the second half. But with 32 minutes left in the game Katie Benfer hit her first goal of the game. Gessner rounded out the game scoring at the 26:55 mark.

Meadowbrook out shot the locals 27-7 and had the advantage in corners as well by an 8-1 margin.