Overtime goal lifts Mustangs by Tigers
Midd-West’s offense breaks through late
MIDDLEBURG–In a war of attrition, it was Alexia Griffith who finally broke through, as the Mustangs’ senior tipped in the game-winning goal with 13:37 left in the overtime to give Midd-West a 1-0 victory over Southern Columbia in a Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference field hockey contest on Wednesday afternoon at Sports Booster Athletic Park.
Midd-West (2-4, 2-4 PHAC) was stellar in all three phases of the game and Southern Columbia goalie Hanna Keller fought off an offensive onslaught from the Mustangs, as she made 15 saves for the Tigers (3-6, 3-6 PHAC) in the loss.
The corner was inserted to Marlo Spriggle, who sent the ball into the arc toward Griffith, who had found some space on the back shoulder of Keller, putting her stick on the ground for a tip-in on the Mustangs’16th corner of the evening for the game-winner.
“I had been wanting to score all game, I’m shaking really bad right now,” Griffith said laughing. “It was just a moment of opportunity and I took it and I was able to find the back of the cage.
“[Overtime] is exciting and it provides anxiety at the same time,” Griffith said. “You want to win and you know you have the ability to win, but you just have to take a deep breathe, get control over [the moment] and focus on getting the ball in the back of the cage and working on communication.”
Midd-West had multiple opportunities, one of the best coming in the second quarter when Spriggle sent a ball in on a restart to Aubrey Isaacs, who tipped the ball wide of the cage. Spriggle had another pass in the third quarter go just wide of a teammate and out of bounds.
“We just needed to finish,” Midd-West coach Jodie Sheaffer said. “Marlo had balls going in all game long and we just needed someone to get a touch on it. She has a great hit coming in and that’s just something we have practicing a lot in practice with her hitting the ball in because she has an amazing drive. Lexi was there and she didn’t swing, she had her stick down and finished it. I’m just really proud of the girls.”
The Mustangs had four shots within a span of a minute just five minutes into the second half, but Keller stood strong, fending off multiple quality scoring chances. The Mustangs registered 16 shots on the afternoon.
“It was a little frustrating because we did have so many shots,” Sheaffer said. “Their goalie hands down was the best we’ve seen this year. She did an amazing job and we just needed to get around her and we couldn’t. Everything we put at her she stopped for them, so it got a little frustrating but we kept telling them we just needed to finish on just one opportunity. We have all these opportunities, we just need to finish one and we were able to get that in overtime.”
Southern Columbia struggled to control possession and Sarah Shupp and Delaney Klingler did an excellent job in transition for the Mustangs as Midd-West yielding few quality scoring chances to the Tigers. The Tigers best opportunity came in the second quarter as Southern Columbia was able to draw a corner around the 12-minute mark. The Tigers’ Alli Griscavage found herself open on the right side of the cage and unleashed a shot that saved by Midd-West keeper Paris Seibel.
Seibel faced little pressure in the cage, as she stopped both shots she faced.
With the victory, the Mustangs picked up their second win of the season and second in three games. Midd-West will travel to face Shikellamy today.
“We’re starting to put things together,” Sheaffer said. “We have a young team and we have been working to put everyone where they need to be for us to be at our best as a team and I think that we have that now. We just need to learn to finish. Everything else is there and if we can find a way to finish opportunities we will be good to go.”
Griffith hopes that the team can gain some momentum from the victory and start producing more offensively.
“We’re just excited for it and we’re ready to score more and finish the rest of the season strong,” Griffith said.
Midd-West 1, Southern Columbia 0
MW 0 0 0 0 1–1
SC 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
Goals: MW–Alexia Griffith. Assists: MW–Marlo Spriggle. Shots: 16-1, MW. Corners: 16-5, MW. Saves: SC–Hanna Keller 15; MW–Paris Seibel 2.