Wildcats use lone goal to win
MIDDLEBURG — Midd-West is always a tough out when the Mustangs play under the lights at Sports Boosters Park, especially with the District 4 playoffs right around the corner.
But Mifflinburg, a tough game in its own right, awaited Midd-West in Tuesday’s Heartland-I matchup, which also was the Mustangs’ “Worth The Fight” game in honor of breast cancer survivors.
The Wildcats spoiled the night’s festivities, however, by taking a 1-0 victory over the Mustangs on Angela Reamer’s unassisted goal 10 minutes into the second half.
“I was proud of my girls and I think they played awesome. I think we kept the offensive pressure and dominated a lot of the game,” Midd-West coach Jodie Sheaffer said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the cage, and that’s something we definitely need to do with our upcoming games.”
Midd-West (10-5, 3-5 Heartland Conference) tried to get on the board early with a pair of back-to-back shots that were fueled by the play of Breeann Sheaffer, but Mifflinburg goalkeeper Catherine Burgmueller kicked both away to end the threat.
Mifflinburg (11-4, 6-2), meanwhile, didn’t produce much offense in the first half thanks to Midd-West’s backs as well as goalkeeper Nicci Piccioni.
“Piccioni is absolutely amazing. She is the best (goalkeeper) in the district and we’re blessed to have her,” Sheaffer said. “Our defense pulled behind her tonight, too, and I’m just really proud of them.”
The good feeling the Mustangs had defensively in the first half quickly evaporated in the second half when the Wildcat offense finally came alive.
A flurry of scoring chances resulted in four penalty corners in the opening eight minutes for Mifflinburg, but it wasn’t until two minutes later that the Wildcats would break the scoreless drought and get one in the cage.
Reamer, who harassed Piccioni and her defensive teammates throughout the matchup, collected a deflection and drove it past the Midd-West keeper with 20:02 remaining to score the only goal Mifflinburg needed on the night.
“That was a clutch goal. We needed it,” Mifflinburg coach Shelly Orren. “(The goal) was a result of hard work. The girls know they got to get in there, and they got to be ready and fight for every goal.
“The win is a big confidence booster. We knew the game could go either way. The last time we saw Midd-West it was a one-goal game (a 3-2 win for Mifflinburg),” added Mifflinburg’s coach.
Despite the goal by Reamer, Midd-West didn’t go down without a fight.
The Mustangs got their best scoring chances late in the game, and with just a few seconds remaining Brenna Brown had the back of the cage in her sights but she missed on her shot.
“(Reamer’s) goal shouldn’t have happened, but it did,” said Jodie Sheaffer, whose team has three games remaining in the regular season. “The team came back and they played tough. They played until the last second and I couldn’t be prouder as a coach.”
Midd-West hosts Lewisburg on Thursday.
Mifflinburg 1, Midd-West 0
M– Angela Reamer, 20:02.
Shots: M 9-6. Corners: 5-5. Saves: M-6 (Catherine Burgmueller); MW-8 (Nicci Piccioni).