MIDDLEBURG - There is a commonly used cliche in sports which states "The score was not an indication of how game was played."
East Juniata girls soccer coach Lori Goodling used a similar line in describing her team's 3-0 loss to Midd-West Tuesday night.
Despite the Tigers controlling most of the play and dominating in scoring opportunities, the Mustangs left Sports Boosters Athletic Park in Middleburg with a 3-0 victory.
Sentinel photo by JOHN?THOMAS
Midd-West’s Allie Camp, left, tries to keep the ball away from East Juniata’s Taylor Marker during the non-league girls soccer game in Middleburg Tuesday.
Allie Camp, Kelsey Bachman and Janelle Arbogast netted goals for the home squad to help first-year coach Russ Goodling pick up his first career victory.
"I'm definitely happy with the result," he said. "I'm happy with the effort, but we obviously have some things we need to work on."
East Juniata (1-1) outshot Midd-West 14-5 and held a 9-2 advantage in corners, but were never able to seriously threaten the net defended by Midd-West keeper Paige Kauffman who only had to make two saves.
The Tigers used constant pressure in the midfield to attack the defense, but seemed to always be a second late when attempting a shot. Along with many shots fired being wide of the cage, many other opportunities were squandered as a Mustang defender stuck a cleat in to break up the play at the last second.
"We definitely had opportunities," Lori Goodling said. "We just made some foolish mistakes."
Midd-West (1-0) scored on its first shot of the game nearly seven minutes into the contest. After surviving some early pressure from the East Juniata offense, the Mustangs finally possessed the ball in the offensive third. Mikayla Beiler gave the home team the lead with a hard pass from the corner to the foot of Camp. The senior one-timed a perfect volley past keeper Zetta Zettlemoyer for the eventual winner.
"That was a great goal," the Midd-West coach said. "It was a hard ball to control and Allie made a terrific shot."
For the next 70 minutes, East Juniata went into full attack mode looking for the equalizer. After failing to score on nine shots in the opening stanza, the team from Juniata County placed even more pressure on the Midd-West defense.
However, while the Tigers kept the ball for the majority of the second half, they never were able to truly scare the Midd-West faithful which cheered from the bleachers with each defensive stand.
East Juniata constantly took one too many dribbles and sacrificed a good shot opportunity looking for a great one down the stretch. The extra second was the difference as the tired Mustangs defense was able to clog up the box and clear countless balls out of danger.
With only minutes remaining, the Tigers needed to push to try and get the tying goal. In doing so, the Mustangs took advantage of the defense's aggressiveness and canned back-to-back goals to wrap up the win in their season opener.
Bachman put Midd-West up 2-0 with 1:43 remaining in the match. The junior striker beat the East Juniata keeper to a loose ball in front of the cage. After the initially failing on her first attempt to collect the ball, it bounced out of the hands of Zettlemoyer and Bachman quickly took advantage of the second opportunity and slid the ball to the keeper's right for the insurance goal.
"The second goal just came from hard work," Russ Goodling said.
With the game out of reach, the Mustangs scored the third goal seconds later. East Juniata played a ball back to its defense that was stolen by Arbogast 25 yards from the goal. The senior quickly broke free with her dribble and buried her first goal of the season from the penalty spot.
Despite the scoreboard displaying a 3-0 victory for the Mustangs, the losing coach Goodling walked out of the stadium pleased.
"We played hard," she said. "I'm happy with the effort. We definitely have nothing to be ashamed of tonight."
Russ Goodling looked at his team's win as a learning tool for the future.
"I've said from day one that I want us to be playing our best soccer during the second half of the season. Right now we are trying something new and need to get some experience. We have some fine tuning to do to get to where we need to be."