As the seconds began to tick off the clock, the Montoursville student section began to chant "District champions! ... District champions!" That chant might be a bit premature seeing as Montoursville is set to face a tough opponent in Warrior Run in the District 4 Class AA title game at a site and time to be determined.
But that chant might not be too far-fetched. As good as Montoursville played Monday night, it has a chance against anyone. Carly Mill scored three goals and Kirsten O'Malley added a goal and an assist as the Warriors defeated Shikellamy 4-1 in the District 4 semifinals Monday night at Balls Mills.
"We knew coming out here Shik was going to be a strong team," said Mill. "We were going to have to come out strong and I think we had to keep head strong, we kept our heads in the game. Having those three goals really set the tempo, Kirsten and I scoring in the first half was great for our team."
Montoursville celebrates a goal by Carly Mill (13) , second from left, in the first half Monday vs. Shikellamy at Balls Mills.
Montoursville scored three first-half goals, two by Mill and one by O'Malley. Mill's first goal came at 26:48 off an amazing pass from Lauren Walker. Walker had a free kick from about 45 yards out and Mill leaped for the ball and some how got her head on it for the first goal of the game. Mill's second goal came three minutes later off a nice chest-to-foot move.
O'Malley's goal came off a short punt, as she settled the ball quickly and arched the shot over the keepers hands from about 30 yards out. Mill's third goal came in the second half off a nice through ball from O'Malley.
O'Malley started on offense but later in the game was moved to the back to play defense.
"I'll play wherever Adam (Scheibeler) needs me to play," said O'Malley. "I don't really mind if I'm scoring goals or stopping goals. I just love being out there and thankful that I have a spot on the field and I really love working with Carly, we've always worked really well together."
The whole Montoursville team worked well together as the offense kept the pressure on the opposing defense and the defense held the Shikellamy offense to just one goal and minimal opportunities.
"I thought we were very solid," said Montoursville coach Adam Scheibeler. "Lauren Walker had a fantastic game like usual, she's been our rock in the back all year. Our back four kept possession, especially in that second half, it just relieves so much of the pressure when were brave enough to keep the ball and pass out of the back.
"Gillian Mitchell who plays just in front of our back four, defensive mid, she had an unbelievable game, I don't think she gave the ball away," said Scheibeler. "She's a player who often goes unnoticed but what she does for us, it's incredible how she keeps the ball for us."
Walker was all over the back line making plays and Mitchell was back and forth all night. Alexis Weisser and Maddy Gorini also played well on defense for the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Braves held Montoursville in check for the first 27 minutes, but it couldn't stop it after that. Shikellamy did a decent job of possessing the ball and winning 50/50's but it couldn't be sustained.
Mikayla Neff scored Shikellamy's lone goal and Kaitlyn Harmon played a good game in goal, having seven saves in defeat.
Montoursville- Carly Mill (Lauren Walker), 26:48; Mill, 30:21; Kirsten O'Malley, 32:53; Mill (O'Malley), 48:44. Shikellamy- Mikayla Neff (Paige Manani), 56:47.
Shots on goal: M- 10; S- 2. Corner kicks: M- 3; S- 5. Saves: M- 1; S- 7.
Goalies: Montoursville (Marissa Folk); Shikellamy (Kaitlyn Harmon).
Records: Montoursville (17-2-1) Next: Montoursville vs. Warrior Run in District Championship (Time and place TBA)