STATE COLLEGE - The State College Little Lions had everything going for them, coming into the first round of the District 6 AAA girls soccer playoffs. They were at home, the No. 1 seed and only eight days removed from facing the same opponent they beat.
Central Mountain played with the type of courage an underdog should, but there was no Cinderella story Tuesday night as State College won, 1-0.
"I thought we were able to keep the ball on our half of the field during the second half, but when Central Mountain had momentum going in the first half, it went back-and-forth," said State College coach Kevin Morooney. "I was still pretty impressed with how Central Mountain stayed disciplined in the second half."
The last time these two teams met, the Lady Little Lions edged Central Mountain, 1-0. CM coach Ryan Veltri knew this game could come down to one play made or an opportunity missed.
The Lady Lions had more chances than CM in the first 40 minutes, outshooting the Lady 'Cats, 15-2. State College's defense stood tall, limiting Central Mountain to very few decent looks on goal. Bryann Hilty played well in goal for her 'Cats, grabbing 10 first half saves.
"That fact that within eight minutes we had a shot-on-goal says a lot in comparison to our season," Veltri said. "Realistically, we've played like Bambi on ice. That's been what we've looked like, but tonight we looked like we were a soccer program. I'm very, very proud of their effort."
The one play needed, that one great effort to make the difference came in the second half.
For State College.
Robin Derr made a great turn on the ball, eluding the Central Mountain defense. After she ditched her defender, the senior had nothing but the keeper and 20 feet of open field in front of her. Sometimes these easy shots are the hardest ones to make. Nope, not this time. She put a hard foot on the ball and drilled it through the posts.
SC - Robin Derr (unassisted) 47:02.
Shots: SC - 20. CM - 2; Corners: none. Saves: SC - (Caitlyn Fosnacht) 2. CM - (Bryann Hilty) 12.
Records: State College 15-5-0; Central Mountain 5-12-1.