Tigers stay close, but can’t stop Midd-West

COCOLAMUS – The East Juniata and Midd-West girls soccer teams took the prime time spot Monday evening as the two faced off in a non-league match hosted by the Tigers.

It was a game where the two halves were polar opposites from each other – the first half manufactured just one goal while the second half provide a total of five.

Unfortunately for the home team, it was the visiting Mustangs who put most of those balls into the net, as Midd-West took home a 4-2 victory in the contest.

“I was really (happy with) the play tonight,” Midd-West coach Russ Goodling said. “We didn’t have such a good game on Saturday. We came back today and put the hard work in and that was all the difference in the world.”

Wasting little time getting on the board, the Mustangs’ Kelsey Stuck posted the team’s first shot on goal and made it the first goal, catching the ball off of a rebound and sending it home for the opening half’s only score with 35:25 still showing on the clock.

The first half was a very closely contested ball game as the stats showed the Mustangs with only a slight lead in shots on goal, a 7-5 margin.

East Juniata had its chances in the first as well, collecting two opportunities on corner kicks.

But the Midd-West defense was relentless in the opening half, keeping the Tigers from getting any uncontested looks at the goal. Midd-West goalkeeper Paige Kauffman was perfect in the net, snagging three saves while Tiger goalkeeper Lydia Hunter tallied four.

“We had surges when we are on fire and then surges we backed down,” East Juniata coach Lori Goodling said. “I think it’s just finding the consistency to play the whole game.”

In the second half, the pace of the game picked up tremendously, starting early in the second half with the final goal coming with 11 minutes left, a span of 25 minutes.

Kenedi Moyer got the visitors going as she took the Mustangs’ first shot of the period and made the most of it as she sidestepped a Tiger defender and found the upper corner of the goal.

East Juniata battled back into the game when McKayla Goodling went one-on-one against Kauffman via a penalty kick opportunity. Goodling was automatic, hitting on the shot to cut the Mustangs’ lead in half.

Midd-West pushed the ball down into the Tigers’ end minutes later, resulting in another Mustang goal with 33:43 left.

Hannah Stauffer was in the right place at the right time when she took a Moyer shot that bounced off the side of the goal and into the line of fire of Stauffer, moving the lead back to two.

Throughout the game, East Juniata refused to go down without a fight as it cut the lead once again to one on an Amber Knouse unassisted goal with 29:19 to put the home team within striking distance.

But for everything the Tigers threw at the Mustangs, Midd-West had an answer. With a bit more than 11 minutes left in the contest Janelle Arbogast put the game on ice for Midd-West as she hit the last goal of the game, ending the scoring at 4-2.