Huskies show fight, but fall to Rams
LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County and Central Dauphin battled it out in a very intense Mid-Penn Conference field hockey match Tuesday in Lewistown. But ultimately the Rams prevailed over the Huskies by the final score of 5-3.
“Central Dauphin first off is just a really seasoned team, but also we have girls injured, we have girls in quarantine, we are really low on numbers, we’ve got girls playing in positions they don’t play in, we’ve got girls starting that don’t normally start, so that’s certainly is part of it,” Huskies coach Ashley Suydam said. “But regardless, despite all those things, I’m still happy with the progress we’re making, we had really great moments during the game. Today we certainly struggled defensively in the circle. especially on corners, but that’s just something we will keep improving.”
During the first period both teams had their fair share of opportunities to put points on the board. Central Dauphin was the first to make an attempt to score as Maya Williams took a shot on a corner attempt but failed to score as the shot went wide of the net.
But from then on Mifflin County really put the pressure on the Rams defense as Hailee Sheetz made a mad dash toward the net but was cut off by the Central Dauphin defensive line. Not long after that, Sheetz went on the attack again but her shot was denied by Central Dauphin keeper Kerissa Hill.
Going into the second quarter with a 0-0 score, both teams continued to create chances to score but still were unable to capitalize on its opportunities.
That all changed with just less than five minutes left in the opening half, the Huskies got on the board first as Sheetz muscled her way into the circle and blasted the ball to the back of the net to give them a 1-0 lead.
However, did not take long for the Rams to respond as about 40 seconds later, Kaylee Zellers found an open Riley Yonchiuk who then evened the game at one apiece.
Then with just less than two minutes to go in the half, Central Dauphin added another goal. After a save by Mifflin County goalkeeper Sophie McCurdy, the ball bounced over to Williams who then proceeded to give the Rams a 2-1 advantage heading into the break.
“I think part of it to is Central Dauphin doesn’t play on grass so I think they were kinda adjusting to the grass. That’s certainly is difficult when you play on turf all the time,” Suydam explained. “We had a good start defensively especially clearing the ball out. Our communication wasn’t great. If you not communicating with your players and we had too many girls up instead of people back, so I think a lack of communication certainly didn’t help us.”
The Rams came out right away and scored to start the third period on a corner attempt in which Gabby Brightbill received the ball and moved it over to Zellers who fired in the goal extending it to a 3-1 lead.
A little while later, Central Dauphin pulled ahead even further as Yonchiuk got the Huskies’ keeper out of the net and knocked in her second goal of the game to make it a 4-1 lead.
But Mifflin County refused to go down quietly as with just less than five minutes to go in the third period, a scramble inside the Central Dauphin net and Monica Druckenmiller smacked in the last goal of the period to cut the lead down to 4-2.
That momentum carried over into the fourth quarter where Morgan Kaniecki found an open Sheetz who then scored her second goal of the game and to pull Mifflin County within one at 4-3.
But a little more than a minute later the Rams responded as Williams again got the ball into the net to make it 5-3.
From then on Mifflin County turned up the intensity and powered its way toward the Central Dauphin net constantly getting shot opportunities but were unable to get the ball in the goal. The Huskies kept going on the offensive until the very last whistle was blown.
“I was really happy with our offense especially the fourth quarter because we were down two goals and despite that we ended up scoring,” Suydam said. “One thing I say about this team is if we’re down goals, they don’t stop, they don’t quit. They keep pushing and at one point was back to a one-point game. So all and all despite all of those things, I’m pleased with how they played.”
Mifflin County falls to (6-6-1) and will look to get back into the win column on Thursday as the Huskies will travel to battle it out with Chambersburg.
Central Dauphin 5, Mifflin County 3
MC – Hailee Sheetz, 4:46; CD – Riley Yonchiuk (Kaylee Zellers), 4:04; CD – Maya Williams, 1:45.
CD – Zellers (Gabby Brightbill), 13:40; CD – Yonchiuk, 6:51; MC – Monica Druckenmiller, 4:52.
MC – Sheetz (Morgan Kaniecki), 13:57; CD – Williams, 12:08.
Shots: CD 18-13. Corners: CD 9-7. Saves: MC-8 (Sophie McCurdy), CD-8 (Kerissa Hill)