Cumberland Valley flies past Huskies

Mifflin County unable to tie game late

Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County's Haylee Corson, center, battles Cumberland Valley's Samantha Murphy for control of the ball in a Mid-Penn Conference field hockey game Wednesday in Lewistown.

LEWISTOWN — When breaking the huddle for the start of the second half and again after a time out late in regulation, Mifflin County chanted one message: score.

Unfortunately for the Huskies, they were unable to do that in a tightly contested 1-0 loss to Cumberland Valley in a Mid-Penn Conference field hockey game Wednesday afternoon.

For much of the year, Mifflin County coach Courtney Kanagy had put an emphasis on playing with intensity and her players not hanging their heads after letting their opponent score.

Despite giving up what wound up being the game-winning goal less than three minutes into the second half, the Huskies played with an intensity not seen when trailing in quite some time.

“It was a pretty well-fought game,” Kanagy said. “As far as offensively, I thought we definitely played a better game than they did. We just couldn’t capitalize. We had a lot of good opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish. Their play was a lot in the midfield and they got a goal because they took advantage of a shot. We just have to get our sticks on the ball in the circle.”

The goal — scored by Eagles’ Riley Hilton — came off a corner when both teams got a second chance.

The Eagles were awarded a corner just moments before and it looked as if they scored. In fact, the team had thought so as cheers erupted on the sideline. However, a blown whistle before the shot was taken erased that goal and gave the Eagles another corner opportunity. It also gave the Huskies another chance to get the ball out of their end of the field.

As luck would have it, the Eagles were the ones who made the most of their second corner. They got the ball to Hilton at the upper right side of the circle and she got a shot off that was not hit all that hard, but had enough to get by any defender and find the back of the goal.

The Huskies had their opportunities to tie the game, especially in the final three-plus minutes.

Cumberland Valley’s Ami Mattingly was penalized for two of those minutes, allowing the Huskies to play a person up.

It showed quickly as the Huskies drove down the field and quickly put pressure on the Eagles and goalkeeper Peyton Crawford.

They twice got shots on goal and received some of the loudest cheers from the sideline and those in attendance. The cheers were out of both excitement and anxiety knowing how close the Huskies were to tying the game and potentially getting the big break.

It also led to a another great chance when Mifflin County was awarded a corner, but on the pass in, the ball just hopped over a pair of sticks and the threat went by the wayside. Instead, the Eagles regained possession and started to slow down the game and run time off the clock until the final buzzer sounded.

Keni Kahley had another typical game, often seen around the ball and creating passing opportunities offensively and slowing down the Eagles defensively.

“We were just joking about how she takes everything I say literally,” Kanagy said. “If you tell her to do a specific thing, she’ll do that specific thing, but she keeps doing that same thing. But yeah, I feel comfortable whenever she has the ball and confident when the ball goes to her or near her. It’s nice to have that, especially in a game like this.”

Maggie Solomon also had a strong game defensively for the Huskies, disrupting much of what the Eagles wanted to do. That led to the low-scoring affair.

“I’m surprised they were playing the long ball like they were. They’re a turf team, but it worked for us today,” Kanagy said. “We tried to cherry pick a little bit, but the grounds were really dry so it was bouncing around a lot so it’s hard to defend that for everybody. We were getting some lucky balls.”

Mifflin County hosts East Juniata Monday.

Cumberland Valley 1, Mifflin County 0

Second half

CV — Riley Hilton, 27:50.

Shots: CV 11-8. Corners: CV 6-3. Saves: CV-8 (Peyton Crawford); MC-10 (Coletta Beeler)