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EJ girls goes toe-to-toe with Blackhawks, falls 2-0

By Kenny Varner

COCOLAMUS – Win and advance!

The East Juniata girls soccer team hosted the Semi-Finals of the Tri-Valley League playoffs.

Hosting Susquenita, the Lady Tigers were looking to work their way back into the title tilt.

After falling to the Blackhawks twice in the regular season, East Juniata was looking to make the third time a charm.

In the end, East Juniata fell to Susquenita 2-0.

Highlighting the gutsy performance by the Lady Tigers were goalie Laynden Cramer. Cramer kept the game close as she was tough in the goal notching 12 saves and numerous breakaway opportunities by the Black hawks.

“They played their hearts out. We’ve been battling injuries. We are still battling injuries,” said East Juniata coach Tom Feltman. “But we’re starting to get a little bit healthier. We played them pretty much toe-to-toe. We had opportunities just weren’t able to capitalize on them. But I’m very very pleased with their effort.”

The defense back field of East Juniata were very busy as well as successful keeping the Susquenita breakaways to a minimum. Playing back at defender were Riley Apple, Addi Eny, Bryleigh Mellott and Cadee Becker. All of which, helped keep the tempo of the game in East Juniata’s favor.

Offensively, Sara Brackbill led the charge but the Blackhawks also had a strong defensive backline and tough goalie in Emma Stiller who finished with five saves.

In the first, an early goal by the Blackhawks, put them ahead 1-0 but the Lady Tigers battled through and changed the tempo of the game.

After pushing the ball deep into East Juniata’s territory, the Lady Hawks were denied on its first possession.

Defensively, the Blackhawks stole the ball pushing it out and getting the ball to Molly Eicher on a breakaway opportunity. She was able to find a hole and sent it on for the lone goal of the first half.

But things started to settle in for East Juniata as they were able to implement their own tempo and limited Susquenita to its breakaway opportunities.

East Juniata stepped up its game and took over the momentum shortly after the lone goals as the defense helped generate the offensive game. In the first half, East Juniata outshot the Blackhawks 10-6 and held a slim 5-3 advantage in the corner opportunities.

But despite numerous runs at the Susquenita goal area, the Tigers just wasn’t able to push it through to tie the contest.

When the two teams went into the intermission, Susquenita held a very slim 1-0 advantage.

In the second half and time on their side, Susquenita was able to slowly put the ball back into the offensive front.

But for most of the stanza, Cramer and company sent back their opponents frustrated.

After numerous times of knocking on the door, the Blackhawks added an insurance goal at the 10:21 mark, off a corner opportunity.

Zoe Weltmer caught a rebound in the goal area and found a small opening and sent it home, upping it to a 2-0 contest with only 10:21 left.

Try as the could, the Tigers weren’t able to get the ball past the Blackhawk defense, falling 2-0.

East Juniata is back in action Wednesday as they host Mifflinburg.

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