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Mifflin County finds a way to bounce
Sep. 20, 2016
Mifflin County finds a way to bounce
Snook scores two goals in Huskies’ win
September 20, 2016, Lewistown Sentinel Save |
LEWISTOWN - Starting out cold in a field hockey game in Mifflin County? That, Huskies coach Courtney Kanagy admits, is not a surprise.
"Us coming out slow like that? It's kind of been a habit - it's been happening, and it's driving me insane," she said Monday.
Giving up the first goal of the game to visiting Perry County was more of a shock to her system, but Mifflin County scored two in each half to put the Mustangs on ice, 4-1, in a Mid-Penn interdivisional contest.
Sentinel photo by JEFF?FISHBEIN
Mifflin County’s Marcella Pupo, left, sends a shot into the pads of West Perry goalie Natalie Geesaman during their Mid-Penn interdivisional field hockey game Monday in Lewistown.
It was a spirit-lifting effort after a soul-searching week prior. Mifflin County started the campaign with a big win at home over Colonial Division leader Central Dauphin, then draw with Cumberland Valley, another perennial power. But Central Dauphin got even, District 6 rival State College got the best of the Huskies, as did Cedar Cliff.
"We did just lose three games in a row, so they're down. We needed this win," Kanagy said. "They knew that they could beat this team, but they were kind of nervous, I think."
Perhaps that's why, eight minutes into the game, West Perry had a 1-0 lead. This from a team that had trouble getting the ball upfield, failing to put sticks on it with any passion or fury. The first time the Mustangs got in front of the Huskies' Selena Breneman, she didn't have to turn them away - a foot call did it.
Next time, they had the moves. A shot across the cage was turned away, but Grace Klauer took it, turned back on the goal and knocked the ball in for the first lead.
The next 10 minutes was an excellent exhibition in moving the ball by Mifflin County, but even with the aid of several penalty corners the Huskies weren't really threatening.
The wake-up call came just inside the eight-minute mark of the first when Marcella Pupo dished a slap shot from the stop of the circle straight into the goal. The tie that it created proved ominous.
"They look to each other, but people like Marcella, they look to her," Kanagy said of her team. "If she's upset, they get upset. If she gets pumped up, they get pumped up. For her to score that goal was kind of uplifting."
Three minutes later, Mifflin County had a lead it would never relinquish. Like a pinball machine, the ball went back and forth in front of the cage, and the last two bumpers were Baylee Lepley and Abby Minck. Lepley's dish was a perfect set and Minck buried it.
"Our passes have improved a lot," Kanagy said. "Grass play and turf play are so different, and the little passes are tougher because they bounce so much. We just got back into the habit of working on turf. It's such an adjustment."
The second half in many ways resembled the middle part of the first - a lot of play dominated by the Huskies, but not much of anything that equaled a goal. Mifflin County wore down the visitors with its penalty corner play - the Huskies had 14 to the Mustangs' one - and was aided by the fact that West Perry struggled just to get the ball across the midfield stripe.
But with nine minutes to play, Daphne Snook became the third member of her team to find the back of the cage, another multiple cross effort. Snook put a exclamation point on the win when she got the ball in again in the final minute on a feed from Minck.
The win is good, the coach says, but it's not time to stop working yet, especially with two division games at home this week.
"There's just so much that we need to work on yet and I know that they can do it," Kanagy said. "We've just got to get through these hurdles, win all these games at home this week - hopefully - and just being back home and comfortable is enough to get them back on track."
The JV game also went to Mifflin County, 1-0, on a goal by Cassidy Wilson, assisted by Baylee Lepley.
The Huskies (2-4-1, 1-4-1) host Carlisle today.
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