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State College field hockey splits season series with Huskies



STATE COLLEGE – State College avenged a 1-0 loss to Mifflin County back in September by playing shutdown defense coupled with an aggressive attack in a 4-0 Mid-Penn Commonwealth victory on Wednesday evening.


The Huskies came out in blitzkrieg mode, firing off four shots on goal in the first five minutes before the Little Lions stiffened their defense, limiting Mifflin County to just one shot the rest of the contest.


“We really struggled offensively tonight, especially crossing the 25 into the circle and you know what? Sometimes you have games like that where you’re disconnected from each other,” Mifflin County coach Ashley Suydam said. “Their defense was great. They were on top of every ball. We just struggled big-time offensively.”


Jordi Attick had two shots, while Keni Kahley and Alyssa Lynch each had a shot in an aggressive attack for Mifflin County (8-7, 4-5) in the opening minutes of play. State College keeper Bayla Furmanek turned away all four attempts to shift the momentum on the home team.


State College (5-7, 3-5) answered when Lizzy Paterno and Sarah Shallenbarger crashed the Husky cage. Paterno slipped a pass to Shallenbarger, who put it past Husky keeper Coletta Beeler for the 1-0 lead with 22:16 left in the first.


“Mifflin County has a new coach but they are well-coached. A lot of credit to them. The rivalry is huge between State College and Mifflin County, so our girls, being senior night, answered really well the rest of the game after Mifflin County came out aggressive,” Little Lion coach Beth Mink said. “I’m very proud of how our team came together and we played our game, the passing game. That was key. We were disciplined all the way around and I’m very happy we got this win for our seniors.”


The Little Lions made it 2-0 when Kara Whitlark scored off the dish of Rebecca Bonness for the goal with 4:02 left until half.


State College got a backbreaker of a goal on an untimed score in extended play for the 3-0 halftime lead. Johannah Lee received the pass from Maddie Tambroni off a corner and put it in the back of the net.


A tired-looking Huskies team went into the break looking for answers.


“We’ve got a ton of injuries. We had two more this week. Two varsity players are probably not going to play the rest of the season,” Suydam said. “The girls are tired, we don’t have many subs and you’re putting people in positions they’re not familiar with or play as a much. That has an effect as well.”


The second half saw Mifflin County tighten up its defense – allowing one goal and only four shots.


“It’s a little disappointing its 4-0 because it didn’t reflect how we really played. It’s not like they dominated the whole game,” Suydam said. “They were able to capitalize on their opportunities in the offensive circle and we struggled in our defensive circle.”


The Little Lions defense played solid throughout the game, especially in the final 30 minutes. State College allowed only one shot in the second half coming from the stick of Lynch.


“Our defense played composed. We tried to up-level our communication in practice and it was good organization from them, starting with our goalie Bayla (Furmanek),” Mink said. “After those first five minutes we honed in and got disciplined. We were very fortunate we pulled out a shutout.”


State College scored its final tally with 4:07 left when Emma Barlett controlled a rebound off Beeler’s right blocker for the unassisted goal.


The Little Lions out-shot the Huskies 11-5 and won the corners 9-3. Furmanek had five saves for State High, while Beeler turned aside six shots and Abby Moon had a defensive save for Mifflin County.


Despite the loss, Suydam realizes the District 6 Class 3A championship looms on the horizon and the rubber match between the two rivals. The immediate goal is learn from the loss, make adjustments and move on.


“Hey, it’s 1-1 and we’ll get to see them again. We want to learn from today. We want to think about and work on what we need to adjust when we see them next time,” Suydam said. “The girls are excited. They played with intensity the whole game and I’m pleased with that.”


State College won the JV game 2-0.


Seniors recognized by the Little Lions were Libby Fortin, Kendall Kleinman and Morgan Marshall.


State College 4, Mifflin County 0

First half

SC-Sarah Shallenbarger (Lizzy Paterno), 22:16, Kara Whitlark (Rebecca Bonness), 4:02, Johannah Lee (Maddie Tambroni),:00.

Second half

SC-Emma Barlett (unassisted), 4:07.

Shots: SC 11-5. Corners: SC 9-3. Saves: MC-7 (Coletta Beeler 6, Abby Moon 1), SC-5 (Bayla Furmanek

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