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Bethany Beinlich, Chloe Burke lift Sullivan girls past Muncy, 6-2

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Sullivan County’s Chloe Burke (13) and Muncy’s Anna Seeley battle for the ball during the first half of a game at Ward L. Myers Elementary School on Friday.

MUNCY — In the first half, Muncy was trying to play balls down field and hope a player could get past Sullivan’s back line and get a shot. The Indians had just two shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, so coach Jason Gresh wanted to change things.

That’s when Muncy started connecting passes and playing to feet better. It worked as Avery Bigelow scored a goal to cut the deficit down to one goal and it looked like some momentum may be going Muncy’s way.

But just two minutes after Bigelow’s goal made it a one-goal game, Sullivan County’s Chloe Burke scored to the right post off a great cross from Bethany Beinlich.

As fast as Muncy cut Sullivan’s lead down, the Griffins built it right back up.

Beinlich and Burke accounted for five of Sullivan’s goals and the Griffins cruised to a 6-2 Mid-Penn League win on a chilly Friday afternoon at Ward L. Myers Elementary School.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Muncy’s Cierra Charles (19) and Sullivan County’s Bethany Beinlich (6) try to control the ball after a kick in the first half at Ward L. Myers Elementary School on Friday.

“There was a little momentum because we connected passes. We did a nice job of setting (Bigelow) up, she ran through and was aggressive and got that goal,” Gresh said. “All of a sudden, OK this is how it’s supposed to look. First half, we weren’t doing any of that, so it was a nice way to come out and start the second half.”

The goal by Burke to put the Griffins (10-3) back up by two was huge in terms of stopping any momentum Muncy (4-6-1) had early in the second half.

“It really helps our defense. We had to boost them up and our goalie every time because we get down on ourselves and we have to build each other up all the way through midfield and bring it back up because a goal really does help boost your morale,” Beinlich said.

The Indians did hold a early 1-0 lead over Sullivan County after Lauren Anderson scored off a Hailey Ohl assist in the first five minutes. But the Griffins kept firing shots at will and Kaelyn Wettlaufer tied the game with 29 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first half when she sent in a high ball that dropped perfectly below the crossbar.

It was then Beinlich who showed how dangerous she can be when she was sent a ball into the attacking third and managed to get around two defenders and fire a shot to the right post to put Sullivan County ahead, 2-1.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Muncy's Lauren Anderson (8) and Avery Bigelow (20) celebrate Anderson’s goal by Sullivan County goalie Mallory Dickenson in the first half at Ward L. Myers Elementary School on Friday. Sullivan County’s Olivia Harney (8) looks on.

“I’m very happy in the fact the teamwork we have on this team that no one is selfish that everyone is giving and we look for the open shots,” first-year Sullivan County coach Kelly Flottemesch said. “We’ve been working all season on communication and passes and it showed today.”

“It definitely makes us show that we’re not lesser just because they got one,” Beinlich said. “We’re going to come back stronger. Every mistake that we make, we’re going to come back and capitalize on top of that.”

Beinlich put the Griffins ahead, 3-1, when she scored with 3:56 left until halftime. Beinlich chased down a throughball and got by four Muncy defenders and drilled another shot to the right post from just outside the 6-yard box.

After Muncy tied the game on Bigelow’s goal, the Griffins proceeded to score three consecutive goals, including two in a 36-second span to go up by four.

Beinlich put the Griffins ahead, 5-2, when she scored from 20 yards out and slipped her shot just below the crossbar out of the reach of Muncy goalie Sarah Dgien. Beinlich then sent a nice cross to her left right to Burke at the far left post who tapped it in for the four-goal lead.

Dgien played excellent for the Indians in the loss. She came up with nine saves, numerous of which were high or diving stops.

“She’s had a consistent improvement since last year and all year long. She’s a rock back there. She gets to everything that she can possibly reach,” Gresh said. “It’s a great luxury to have. She’s only going to continue to get better. She’s a hard worker and you can’t ask for more out of her. She puts the time in, she works hard and she’s just consistently getting better.”

Muncy nearly cut the deficit down to one after Sullivan went ahead, 4-2. Bigelow got the ball from midfield and managed to get past three defenders and turn at the 18. That’s when she sent a hard shot toward the right post only to see Mallory Dickinson bat it down and prevent a goal.

The Griffins almost scored another goal late in the second half when Burke had a header toward the right post that Dgien grabbed.

Sullivan County out-shot Muncy, 16-6, and in total, the Griffins fired 29 shots and were routinely in Muncy’s third and firing shots from inside of the 18. Sullivan County did a good job spreading the ball around offensively, but Burke and Beinlich were two players that fired off the most shots and did so frequently.

“Yeah, I’d say we’re pretty threatening to the defense,” Beinlich said with a laugh. “They always know when we’re coming on.”

“They’re both very good and obviously Sullivan plays through them,” Gresh said of Burke and Beinlich. “So you know that going in and you have to try to game plan around that, but at same time you have to have a balance there and can’t play all defensive.”

Sullivan County 6, Muncy 2

M–Lauren Anderson (Hailey Ohl), 34:36. SC–Kaelyn Wettlauffer, 29:15. SC–Bethany Beinlich, 13:22. SC–Beinlich, 3:56. M–Avery Bigelow, 30:22. SC–Chloe Burke (Beinlich), 28:29. SC–Beinlich, 3:16. SC–Burke (Beinlich), 2:40.

Shots: SC 16, M 6. Corners: SC 4, M 0. Saves: SC 5 (Mallory Dickinson), M 9 (Sarah Dgien).

Records: Sullivan (10-3), Muncy (4-6-1).

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