LEWISTOWN - It was a busy week for the Mifflin County boys soccer team, which played four games in a six-day stretch that included trips to Altoona and Cedar Cliff as well as a Saturday morning match up against Red Land.
Despite the rough week, the Huskies showed no fatigue going toe-to-toe with Chambersburg before falling late, 2-0, in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division showdown Thursday afternoon at Mifflin County High School.
Mifflin County Jared Byler was happy with the effort that he got from his players, especially the play in the midfield.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Chambersburg’s Alex Williams, left, and Mifflin County’s Ian McGinnis battle for the ball Thursday at Lewistown. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
"As far as the effort from the boys, we controlled the ball in the midfield. This evening Kyle Bodtorf was an absolute workhorse. We've been challenging him all year to limit his turnovers and to tackle hard. Tonight he put together a complete game. He played amazing on defense, winning tackles and 50-50 balls. He was distributing the ball well and not having any turnovers," Byler said. "A lot of things were going well for us but a lot of our play was through Kyle who had an excellent game tonight."
Mifflin County goalkeeper Derek Heimbach provided yet another strong performance for the Huskies, collecting a total of 12 saves.
After a scoreless first half, the two teams went at each other very aggressively with the advantage of possession for most of the second belonging to Huskies.
r Mifflin County travels to State College Tuesday
Chambersburg was leading in shots on goal but Mifflin County had times when it was knocking on the door and the Huskies were a pass away from penetrating the middle of the Trojans back third.
Mifflin County came close to placing the first goal of the game on its first corner opportunity. Tucker Bachman placed himself in the middle and went up for a header.
However, the hit just missed the goal area, sending the Huskies away empty handed.
Lady Luck played a role in the Trojans' first goal. With 18:53 left to play in the game, a shot from Chambersburg's Bryce Stouffer rebounded off a direct kick from the feet of teammate Josh Brenize. The ball took an awkward bounce when Stouffer shot, which ended at jumping over the leaping Heimbach, making it 1-0.
The Trojans added an insurance goal minutes later when Sam Franchi took a pass from Ian Berrier and put it in the net, ending the scoring at 2-0.
Even though the Huskies didn't pick up the win, Byler saw the game as a step in the right direction and a moral victory for his squad.
"Hands down, this is the best game we played all year. We possessed the well from our backs to our mids and center mids. The center mids did a good job distributing the ball to our outside wings' and forwards' feet," he said. "We started to gather three or four good passes in a row and we just needed that one more pass to get us into the attack and we put it their but our touch let us down. Everything was great from the 18 to 18 but once we got inside our own 18 we kind of collapsed a little there.
"As far as the effort goes, wow, tt was great," Byler said. "They were physical, they were moving off the ball well and they were communicating. It was great. I was glad to see these guys put it together for a whole 80 minutes."
Mifflin County will get some well-deserved time off and then be back in action Tuesday, traveling to State College.