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MC girls give Cedar Cliff a battle before falling

By Kenny Varner

LEWISTOWN – One can see the maturation process of the Mifflin County girls soccer team as the Lady Huskies held the Colts close in the first half at 2-1 before falling 5-1 in the end.
Despite the four goal loss, Mifflin County went head-to-head and toe-to-toe with its opponent only falling in shots on goal by a 24-18 deficit.
The Colts also led in corner attempts by a 4-1 margin.
“We are a young team and we are starting four or five freshman and still getting used to the formation and still getting used to playing together,” Mifflin County coach Jeremy Herwig said. “I told the girls at the beginning of the season I didn’t want to see them peak at the beginning of the season. I want us to peak in the middle. From the dedication and the heart we’ve been getting we’re slowly getting there.”
In the beginning, both teams had their moments of possession and on Colts second possession, Cedar Cliff forward  Miranda Gallucci picked up an unassisted goal, with 34:17 showing on the clock.
The goal gave the Colts some temporary momentum but that didn’t last very long as Mifflin County returned the favor minutes later.
With the time running down to 31:34, Jess Bickhart broke loose around the end and picked up a pass from teammate Sierra Shawver. From there Bickhart used her speed to her advantage and hit the goal on a one-on-one showdown with Cedar Cliff goalie Lexa Dugan. Bickhart sailed it past the diving goalie, tying the game at one.
With the Huskies now with the momentum, the veteran Colts decided to take the ball and march it down the field into the Mifflin County back-third.
Still early in the game, Maci Russell picked up a pass from Ashley Hoagland, at the 27:36 mark to take back the lead at 2-1.
“We are putting it together piece by piece. We are slowly playing a full 60 minutes and we are getting closer to the 80,” Herwig said. “It’s just a matter of time before everything starts clicking.”
Despite being outshot 13-4 in the first half, the Huskies seemed unphased and believed they were still in the game when it went into the intermission with the Colts leading 2-1.
Mifflin County goalkeeper Mackenzie Bressler snagged seven tough saves in the half.
In the second half, the Huskies were able to get some good news despite giving up three goals in the final 40 minutes of play.
The Lady Huskies out shot their opponent 12-11 in the period.
But the Colts opened the second quickly via a goal by Rachael Reilly on an unassisted goal with 34:24 showing, upping it to 3-1.
Less than three minutes later, Cedar Cliff found its way to the Huskies’ back-third and picking up its fourth goal of the afternoon.
Russell picked up her second goal of the evening for the Colts as she landed an unassisted goal with still 32:53 left to go in the game.
Mifflin County refused to stop battling.
Shawver was able to get her way out and into the defensive end of Cedar Cliff. Though her shots came up empty it took strong goalkeeper reflexes by Lexa Dugan to keep her from scoring.
With 20:36 left in the game, the Colts got an insurance goal they needed when Emily Esser got a touch pass from Natalie Sassano and sent it home, making it 5-1.
With the loss, the Huskies will be looking for its first win of the season when it travels to Central Dauphin Thursday night.

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