Uncaged Tigers

LEWISTOWN – Lydia Strawser fended off several flurries by the Mifflin County offense as she earned her third shutout in five games as East Juniata blanked Mifflin County 1-0 in a non-conference field hockey game.

“She was on it today,” East Juniata coach Billie Haines said. “She was an animal just back and forth. She did a very nice job.”

Steph Dressler supplied the offense when she struck with 13:34 remaining in the first half, giving East Juniata the advantage.

The big sequence that led to the East Juniata goal came when Mifflin County peppered Strawser with multiple shots and she was able to stop all of them.

East Juniata came away with the ball and quickly made its way down the field; Dressler fired from the right wing past Mifflin County goalkeeper Jordan Myers.

“She went to the ball today,” Haines said. “She played really, really well. She took it down the center and had a nice shot from the outside. It was on the move and they didn’t get to it. She hit the corner of the cage, which was a really nice shot.”

The East Juniata defense was also strong, clearing the ball away to thwart many other Mifflin County scoring chances.

Strawser made two more key saves in the middle of the second half.

The first came on a corner attempt when a Mifflin County player got a clear shot from the middle and it connected with the middle of Strawser’s pad.

The second save came when Strawser dove and stopped a Mifflin County shot heading for the left-hand corner of the goal.

Mifflin County got back-to-back corners late in the second half but was not able to capitalize on them.

Mifflin County had its opportunities, registering 13 shots against Strawser.

East Juniata had a chance to extend its lead with about four minutes to play in the game but its shot found the pad of Myers.

“We can’t score,” Mifflin County coach Tish Maclay said. “We haven’t been able to score all season and we couldn’t score today.”

Both teams played the game as a fundraiser for the the United Way, wearing special purple and neon yellow shirts to show support.

“It’s a great cause,” Maclay said. “It’s been good that both teams from Mifflin and Juniata counties could come together and promote and raise money for a great cause. We could cooperate in that effort.”

“They asked us to participate in the fundraiser,” Haines added. “We were more than willing.”

Mifflin County will be in action next on when it travels to State College today at 7 p.m.

East Juniata improves to 10-3-1 on the season and will play next on Thursday when it visits Newport at 6 p.m.

Notes: This was the first meeting between the two schools since the inaugural year of Mifflin County High School, when the Huskies were part of the Tri-Valley League, which both Lewistown and Indian Valley had been a part of. Mifflin County won both against the Tigers that year. … East Juniata replaced Juniata on the Mifflin County schedule as a result of the cooperative between those two schools.