Hart tallies four goals as East Juniata romps

BELLEVILLE – Megan Hart scored two goals from the left side in first 10 minutes and four on the day as East Juniata defeated Belleville Mennonite 8-0 in a non-league field hockey game Monday.

“We were really able to work the ball down the middle of the field today,” East Juniata coach Lynlee Payne said. “We have a lot of strong players in the center. We were able to dribble down and play our kind game on the right side of the field.”

Hart’s first two goals – which were less than three minutes apart – gave East Juniata some comfort room early.

Belleville Mennonite goalie Mollie Morgan spent most of the afternoon facing a sea of maroon yet was able to save 11 on the day.

“She is very promising for the rest of the season,” Belleville Mennonite coach Morgan Foote said of her sophomore goalie. “I’m excited to have her for a couple more years. When she’s put in the game, she really steps up.”

East Juniata added its third goal of the afternoon with 11:54 left in the first half when Makenzie Bishop hit Hunter Hepner with a pass that she got past Morgan.

East Juniata scored again with just 12 seconds left in the opening half when Bishop found Elizabeth McClure for the goal.

After Jessie Wagner scored, Hart added her third goal of the day with 17:43 left in the second half, putting East Juniata up 6-0.

Hart later tacked on her fourth goal late in the second half.

“She has a very strong stick inside the 25,” Payne said. “That’s what we need. She did exactly what we needed to do.”

Lydia Koser and Bishop each had three assists for East Juniata. Koser and Hart proved to have a great connection as Koser assisted on two of Hart’s goals.

“We were just able to work on a lot of things,” Payne said. “We have a big game on Thursday. I told the girls we need to work on our game.”

The Tigers totaled 15 shots on the day, while Belleville Mennonite managed three, all of which came in the second half. Most of the Thunder’s second-half gains came on the stick of Leah Peachey.

“Leah Peachey is one of my really strong players,” Foote said. “Once they got the drive they really stepped up. I wish it wouldn’t have taken that long.”

East Juniata improved to 6-2 while Belleville Mennonite fell to 2-5.

East Juniata will host Greenwood in a key Tri-Valley League game on Thursday at 4 p.m. while Belleville Mennonite will travel to Huntingdon today at 4.