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Goal before half helps propel South girls to a victory over Muncy

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Muncy goalie Sarah Dgien comes up short as South Williamsport's Olivia Cassella's shot hits the back of the net in the first half Tuesday.

South Williamsport rarely gave the ball away to Muncy in the first half of Tuesday’s game. The Indians didn’t get many looks in the attacking third.

But with less than two minutes to play until halftime, the Mounties were leading just 2-0 and South Williamsport was hoping to put in at least one more goal to get a little more breathing room entering the second half.

That’s when Piper Minier delivered for the Mounties.

With 60 seconds to play, Minier got the ball just outside of the 18 and rifled a perfectly-placed high shot out of the reach of Muncy goalie Sarah Dgien to the right post to score a huge goal right before the half.

It gave South Williamsport a three-goal lead and helped carry the Mounties to a 5-2 Mid-Penn League win over Muncy.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Muncy’s Hanna Dgien (6) and South Williamsport’s McKaye Wilton (8) try to head the ball Tuesday.

“It’s big, 3-0 vs. 2-0 is huge, especially if you get a goal right before halftime or right after halftime,” South Williamsport coach Marc Lovecchio said. “It’s a big psychological boost and they say this, and it’s true, if it’s 2-0 and they score another goal, they’re right back in it. If it’s 3-0, you still have a little leeway.”

The Mounties built up their 3-0 lead thanks to scoring late in the half. Lauren Weinhoffer scored with 10 minutes remaining when she got the ball right before it would have rolled out of bounds. She placed a shot to the far right post past Muncy’s goalie for a 1-0 lead.

Less than 90 seconds later, it was Olivia Casella who snuck in a shot to the right post for a quick 2-0 lead.

Muncy played well from a defensive standpoint in the first 40 minutes and Dgien helped prevent the Mounties from further increasing their lead. She had seven saves in the game.

“Sarah played outstanding. Sarah has really improved this year. She worked real hard,” Muncy coach Jason Gresh said. “She went through a lot of training over the summer and the results are starting to show.”

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette South Williamsport's Lauren Weinhoffer (25) is congratulated by team mates Elizabeth Manning (11) and Charlotte Barckley (5) after scoring with 10:00 left in first half.

“I thought they played more aggressive than us in the first half and we made a lot of mistakes in the first half,” Lovecchio said. “I thought in the second half we calmed down a little bit and passed the ball better, just in terms of connecting passes.”

Casella scored her second goal of the game from outside the 18 with 35:25 remaining in the game with a shot just inside the left near post for a 4-0 South Williamsport lead.

The Mounties final goal came with 15:46 left when Aleigha Rieppel scored for a five-goal lead.

Minier had a breakaway that she took to the right side of the field and got past Muncy’s goalie. Once Minier got around Dgien, she sent a cross to her left, but South Williamsport didn’t have any players inside the 18 to finish and possibly score.

“I thought we had some nice scoring in the second half. It seemed like we were just a little more focused,” Lovecchio said. “They’re a well-coached and decent team. You got to hand it to them too, they kept going the whole game. They scored a couple at the end which is nice.”

The Indians kept pressuring throughout the game and broke the shutout bid up when Cierra Charles scored with just 3:18 remaining from 15 yards out.

Lauren Anderson then scored with 38 seconds to play to make it a 5-2 deficit.

The two goals were Muncy’s only shots on goal in the game as the Mounties held a 12-2 advantage.

“We’re still trying to find our shape. We’re extremely young, we only had one senior play today. This is really about trying to figure out who we are and we’re going to be switching shapes and trying to figure out where we fit best, how we fit best and keep building. That’s the key,” Gresh said. “If you’re young, you have to keep building to next year. We have some injuries, some COVID-related stuff, and that all matters. That all takes away especially from small schools. We’re just working through those.”

The loss drops Muncy to 1-2-1 and South Williamsport improves to 4-1.

South Williamsport 5, Muncy 2

SW–Lauren Weinhoffer, 10:00. SW–Olivia Casella, 8:37. SW–Piper Minier, 1:00. SW–Casella, 35:25. SW–Aleigha Rieppel, 15:46. M–Cierra Charles, 3:18. M–Lauren Anderson, 0:38.

Shots: M 2, SW 12. Corners: M 1, SW 6. Saves: M 7 (Sarah Dgien), SW 0 (Laila Shams).

Records: Muncy (1-2-1), South Williamsport (4-1).

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