Mustangs blanked by Blue Jays
SELINSGROVE–Marlo Spriggle and Makiah Brewer went head to head in what could be described as the crucial moment of Midd-West’s field hockey season Thursday.
Spriggle, one of the keys to the Mustangs’ offense, needed to put the ball past Brewer, Central Columbia’s goalie. She even got a replay when a foul stalled her first try.
It wasn’t to be.
Brewer had the hot hand and the Blue Jays advanced 1-0 to the District 4 Class A semifinals with a shootout win at Selinsgrove’s Harold L. Bolig Memorial Field.
When it got the end game after six periods of hockey, Brewer stymied the Snyder County team — Alexia Griffith was alone on her team in getting the ball into the cage.
Caitlyn Weatherhill, Emma Yoder and Ali Heintzelman converted for the Jays to break what was a scoreless tie to that point.
Midd-West’s difficulties in the shootout were emblematic of the Mustangs’ difficulties throughout the contest. They played a sound possession game, but struggled in front of the goal.
“We’ve had a hard time scoring this year,” Midd-West coach Jodie Sheaffer said. “We dominated the game — we’ve just got to finish, and we didn’t. You can’t win a game if you don’t finish.”
In regulation, the Mustangs had their best opportunities early thanks to persistent fouls called against Central Columbia. Only one of those produced a penalty corner; it was the only one for Midd-West in the first period and one of just four in the half.
But the five shots on goal for the five seed — the Jays had just three in the half — were all for naught. As often as not, Spriggle was seeding the offense with her ability to lace the ball into the circle. But again, it takes an effort at the end that was missing.
“We definitely missed some opportunities,” Sheaffer said. “We’ve been working on that all week.
“We had so many opportunities in front of the cage but their goalie just scrapped.
Midd-West had two great opportunities early in the third. Both involved Griffith and a crossing pass in front of Brewer; Sarah Shupp was the playmaker, batting the ball toward the goal. Brewer cut her off the first time; a minute later, a defensive stop put an end to the effort.
Midd-West had three corners in the first overtime and looked to end it with one of them, but the ball went off the side of the cage. Late in the first 7-on-7 period, Griffith again had a chance, passing the ball between Brewer’s legs — only to see it go wide.
The Mustangs shot first after overtime with Griffith’s conversion in the second round.
Central Columbia 1, Midd-West 0 (SO)
Midd-West 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 — 0
Central Columbia 0-0-0-0-0-0-1 — 1
Shootout: Central Columbia 3-1
Shots: M 15-11; Corners: C 12-10; Saves: M-11 (Paris Seibel), C-15 (Makiah Brewer)