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Mifflin County girls finish strong but fall, 3-1


By Kenny Varner


LEWISTOWN – After falling behind 2-0 at the end of the first half, Mifflin County girls’ soccer coach Trevor Eckley challenged his team to step things up and give a good showing in the second half.

Challenge accepted.

Mifflin County came out and went toe-to-toe, literally, as they tied Central Dauphin at one in the second half before falling 3-1 at home Thursday night at the Huskies’ sports complex.

Picking up the lone goal for Mifflin County was Kaitlyn Eckley.

Teammate Sage Heckendorn was tested numerous time in the goal area but the veteran keeper snagged a total of 17 of the 32 shots that the Rams took.

Rams keeper Lizzie Adlestein was stingy in the cage as well collecting four of Mifflin County’s 10 shots in the contest.

“We switched some people around in the second half to try to get some of the older girls working together and talk about showing to the ball, getting to the ball, playing with the ball at your feet and helping each other out. That’s what they did. We got some great runs in the second half,” Eckley said. “

The Huskies came out motivated and raring to get on the score board and attack the Rams’ lead.

After a Rams’ early corner attempt that went for nothing, the Huskies offense started to take control of the momentum and started to force the ball down into the C.D. back-third.

Haley Predix got lose on a breakaway attempt and blazed her way down the field. She was taken down just outside the keepers box and was forced to take a direct kick attempt.

Her shot sailed just inches over the top of the Central Dauphin goal, leaving the Huskies heading back to midfield empty handed.

Mifflin County had a boost of energy early on as they collected numerous breakaway chances.

However, each time the Rams’ defense stood tough.

With 27:58 left in the contest, the Huskies cut the Rams lead in half.

A direct kick by Kaitlyn Eckley sailed just over the outstretched hands of Adlestein, making it 2-1.

Minutes later, another Mifflin County attack on the Central Dauphin goal was in full force.

The result was a shot that just hit the sidebar of the goal just inches away from tying the contest at two.

“I believe at that point we were down by one. If either of those goals went in I think you would have seen a different game. That would have made it even. I believe with the momentum we had going we would have continued,” Eckley said. “Unfortunately, that’s the luck of it sometimes.”

After a couple more close calls by Predix, the Rams’ offense got back the advantage and went threatening Heckendorn and the backfield of the Huskies.

With 18:50 left in the contest, the Rams added a security goal on a shot at the net by Lauren Curry, upping the lead to 3-1.

In the first half, the Rams seemed to be one step ahead of the Huskies, out shooting them by a tally of 18-3.

After opening the game with the ball, the Rams put the ball right down into the back-third of the Mifflin County defense.

Heckendorn was very busy in the first few minutes collecting two consecutive saves and scooping up anything that got near her.

As the clock would down to just over 26 minutes left in the first half, the Rams picked up the first goal of the game. Leading the way on a breakaway was Haley Luckenbill.

Luckenbill shot an angled shot to the far corner for the goal.

She was not done there as she would pick up goal number two with 10-minutes left in the half.

The sophomore scored goal number as she placed her shot to the top of the goal, skimming off the hands of Heckendorn.

As the intermission, the Rams were in comfortable position, leading 2-0.

Mifflin County will be back in action Saturday when it travels to State College.

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