It was one of those momentum killing moments.
Minutes after putting her team up by two goals, Madison Bower attempted to defend a corner by heading the ball over the goal. The only problem, the ball wasn't hit high enough and went into the back of the net to cut Millville's lead to a single goal.
Bower, though, wasn't fazed by the mistake, and added a second goal late in the first half as No. 6 Millville advanced past No. 11 Hughesville with a 4-3 win in the District 4 Class A playoffs at the Balls Mills Soccer Club on Wednesday.
"That fourth goal really gave us confidence," Millville coach Rachel Verstraeten said. "We followed our game plan and executed. The girls knew what we wanted to do and they played well."
Madison Bower gave the Quakers a two-goal lead when her sister, Maci, fed a beautiful through ball to her for a 1-on-1 scoring chance against Hughesville keeper Allison Russell. Bower elected to go to the far post and sent a low-rolling shot under Russell for her first goal. Bower later received another feed from her sister to set up a late goal with 4:20 left in the first half.
After Hughesville received the gift goal from Madison Bower's head, the Spartans continued to push the tempo and got a game-tying goal from Melanie Santo.
Santo played an inspired game, moving all over the field and blocking balls on the defensive end.
"When they scored that second goal I thought we went a little flat," Verstraeten said. "We knew we were going to be able to score. It was just a matter of holding them."
The game could not have started worse for the Spartans, who found themselves a goal down less than a minute into the match when Sydney Mercer collected a rebound and tapped the ball into the goal for a quick 1-0 lead.
"It was part of the plan coming into the game," Verstraeten said. "We have a potent offense and we play in a lower division (of the HAC) and wanted to set the tone right away."
When asked after the game, Hughesville coach Murray Hanford refused to give comment.
No. 6 Millville 4, No. 11 Hughesville 3
M-Sydney Mercer (unassisted), :54; M-Madison Bower (Maci Bower), 21:13; M-Own goal, 21:54; H-Melanie Santo (unassisted), 29:02; M-Madison Bower (Maci Bower), 37:40; M-Maci Bower (unassisted), 51:48; H-Brittany Snyder (unassisted), 67:26.
Shots: H 18 M 11. Shots on goal: H 10 M 9. Corner kicks: H 1 M 3. Saves: H (Allison Russell) 5, M (Madison Henrie) 8. Fouls: H 9 M 12. Cards: H-none. M-Maci Bower (yellow), 39:45.