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State girls successful in title defense

State College 1, Altoona 0
Altoona 0 0 – 0
State C. 1 0 – 1
First half
SC – Alison Houtz unassisted, 33:08.
State College 17-6, Altoona 10-10

WINGATE – Coming into Tuesday night’s District 6 Class AAAA Championship game with rival State College, the Altoona girls were looking to pick up the win and in the process dethrone last year’s winners.
Despite quite a defensive battle by both teams, State College was able to hold onto its title one more year, winning by a 1-0 victory at Alumni Field in Bald Eagle Area.
An early goal by State College’s Alison Houtz proved to be the game winner.
Defensively, the Mountain Lions were a tough out in the contest as it was able to fight off any attack the Little Lions would throw at them.
Leading the way was Altoona goalie Julia Lane. Lane was stingy on her end picking up nine saves in the contest and was able to come out of the net and thwart some of the Little Lions breakaway attempts.
“I said to them (Altoona) before the game, “play hard for 80 minutes and give what you can and if you need a sub, we will get you a sub”. So they battled until the last second,” Altoona coach Derek Winterburn said. “They played as hard as they could for 80 minutes. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a coach. I am just really, really proud of these girls.”
In the opening minutes, Altoona got the call first as Cassie Kyle broke loose and sent the first shot of the ball game just wide.
On its first full drive down field, the Little Lions got its first break of the ball game when Altoona was called for a foul and had to watch as the Little Lions set up for a free kick.
Houtz lined up the ball and then sent a screamer that just skimmed the outstretched hands and finger tips of Lane, making it 1-0 State College.
“The early goal was such a big boost it kind of sets you at ease a bit,” said State College coach Doug Bates, “Altoona played great though. When we met them earlier in the season we controlled the pace of the game a lot more. We couldn’t get our rhythm going tonight as well. We certainly didn’t sit back after that one goal. We were trying to attack and get more.”
State College out shot Altoona 17-7.
After the goal, the Mountain Lions defense stiffened and came up with numerous big stops when the Little Lions seemed to have a chance at another shot.
Though the offense didn’t get the ball much in the first, the defense was well up for the challenge.
The score remained the same going into the second half.
In the beginning of the half, Altoona cane out aggressively and attacked the ball pushing it into State territory.
However, the State College defense was just as tough, as it had showed in previous Mid-Penn contests.
As the time started to wind down in the final minutes of the game, the Mountain Lions tried to pick up the pace, moving up the field at a feverish pace trying to knit the game at one and send it into an overtime period.
Though in the final seconds there was a frenzy of activity at the front of the Little Lions goal, the Mountain Lions could not find the shot they needed, falling 1-0.
However, the future looks bright for this young Altoona team as 11 players on the roster are underclassman.

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