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Playing with heart; Mifflin County girls soccer team grinds it out

LEWISTOWN – The final scoreboard may not be the one the Mifflin County girls soccer team was looking for as they had a prime time showdown with a very veteran Cumberland Valley team in a Mid-Penn contest.
The new look young Mifflin County team was primed and ready to do battle under new head coach Jeremy Herwig.
In the end, the scoreboard belonged to the Eagles 11-0 but what happens with the experience level of the Huskies rose in leaps and bounds.
After giving up eight goals in the first half, the determination and the hustle on the field did not diminish as the Lady Huskies allowed just three goals in the second half.
“You can’t ask for more. You really can’t,” Herwig said. “To get the heart, to get the intensity makes all the last few months we’ve been together worthwhile. We came together as a family tonight. When you see something like that on the field and the kids getting the parents involved into the game is fantastic.”
Despite the hustle and aggressive play, Cumberland Valley struck first when Kellyanna Hendricks blasted a wide open shot past a diving Mackenzie Bressler, making it 1-0.
The Huskies were undeterred by the early goal and went right at the Eagles’ defense. Mifflin County’s Jess Bickhart had a breakaway attempt but was stopped cold by CV goalie Syndney Bruckner.
Minutes later, the Eagles doubled their lead when Emily Keitel broke free of the Husky defense, making it 2-0.
Before the Huskies had a chance to recover Rachel Dorwart hit two consecutive goals at the 30:13 mark and 29:43, increasing the gap to 4-0.
At the 28:41 mark, Jenny Bail hit her first goal.
After going silent by the Huskies defense in the next 17 minutes, the Eagles ended the scoring drought when Hendricks picked up goal number two in a 6-0 advantage.
With 10:09 left in the half, Dorwart got her second of the game as well.
However, teammate Rachael Barrick ended the first half scoring when she blasted one into the far corner with8:48 still showing on the clock.
When most teams fall behind at the half, rarely does a team come out with an extra kick in its step.
However, the Huskies came out ready to go back into battle and seemed to gain some speed coming out of the break.
A big part of the spirited play was from goalkeeper Bressler who tallied 15 saves in the game. Her aggressive play and no fear of leaving the safety of her goal area to slide for saves, kick the ball clear or even try to slap a wild ball heading toward the net.
For almost half of the second half, the Mifflin County defense stood tall as their teammates cheered them on.
“The dedication and heart we get from these girls is what it’s all about”, Herwig said. “They make it what it is and by coming out and holding a team to only three goals after they had eight in the first half goals, it was a great effort.”
Unfortunately for the home team, CV finally got back on the board with three goals in the final 25 minutes to go onto a 11-0 victory.
The Eagles outshot the Huskies 31-4 and held the advantage in corners by a 3-0 margin.
In the JV contest, Cumberland Valley won 8-1.

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