MIFFLINTOWN - Juniata coach Brian Strawser has been waiting for his girls to play a full 80-minute game.
And coming off a nice stretch of games where the Indians played well, Strawser was finally able to watch his girls get over the hump in their Tri-Valley League tilt against Halifax Wednesday.
Juniata got goals from four different players and controlled possession throughout the game to upend the TVL foe 4-0.
Sentinel photo by JEFF?FISHBEIN
Juniata’s Megan Shoop, right, sends a pass across the field as Halifax’s Meghan Hoffman defends Wednesday evening in Mifflintown. The Indians won the Tri-Valley League contest 4-0.?See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
"We played 80 minutes of high-pressure soccer tonight," Strawser said. "The girls finally realized how they can play when they work that hard."
It started to come easy for the Juniata offense. But credit its defense and junior netminder Joelle Winey for pitching the shutout.
Through the first 20 minutes of play, the ball was possessed on each side of the field equally. Each team was trying to exploit its opponent's right side. The Indians seemed set on getting the ball to right wing Micah Horning.
IF YOU GO
* Juniata travels to West Perry today
And after numerous chances were turned away by the Halifax defense, Juniata finally broke through with two quick scoring plays.
Junior midfielder Carly Burns was the beneficiary of the first goal. With 16 minutes showing on the clock, the right side started the rush for Juniata. Horning toed the ball up the side of the field and found Lauren Baublitz in the middle.
Baublitz dropped a pass back to Burns, who took a strike from the 18.
Burns' blast went top shelf just over Halifax keeper Krista Bainbridge for the game's first score.
Just three minutes later, Juniata found the net once again.
This time, Janelle Swartz controlled the ball at midfield before sending a perfect service into the Halifax zone. Christen Baublitz was the target. The freshman forward work passed the Wildcat defense for a corner finish.
"We had a couple players that were missing something over the last couple games," Strawser said. "They certainly answered the call today."
And with a 2-0 lead at the half. Juniata had played a solid 40 minutes of soccer. But the girls from Mifflintown weren't finished just yet.
The Indians pulled off one of the nicest plays there could be on a soccer field to start the second half. And four minutes in, Lauren Baublitz increased the Juniata lead.
Burns made a nice play on a header deep in the Halifax zone. Then, after numerous give and goes up the middle of the field between Burns and Swartz, the Indians crossed midfield without a Wildcat touching the ball.
A few seconds later, Swartz sent a pass to Lauren Baublitz, who finished.
"Soccer is a beautiful game, and that was beautiful," Strawser said of his team's third goal. "Goals don't come from 12 yards out. That one started way in the back and Carly got that started."
The Juniata offense continued to roll throughout the second half. Halifax continued to struggled the rest of the way but the Indians were still playing strong.
Lauren Lock found herself in the right place at the right time with 26 minutes to play in the game. After a furious rush to the goal, the ball came off Rylie Duck's foot toward the Halifax keeper. Eventually, Lock came away with an easy put in to give Juniata a 4-0 score.
"It was two good halves. And that's what we need," Strawser said. "It was all about unselfish soccer today."
Juniata (5-4, 4-1 TVL) travels to West Perry today.