MIFFLINBURG — With a district playoff berth already locked up, the Mifflinburg girls varsity soccer team wanted to finish the season on a high note.
After weathering a slump over the past two weeks, the Wildcats got a game-winning goal from Cara Snook when she scored off a brilliantly placed free kick by Makayla Weber with 50 seconds remaining in the first overtime to give the Wildcats the HAC-I victory over the Millionaires.
“We’ve been practicing that play for the past few weeks and Cara is not afraid to go in there and win it with her head or any other part of her body,” Mifflinburg head coach Erich Hankamer said. “It wasn’t my goal to use a lot of my starters while we’re getting ready for districts, but (the team) rallies around them so that’s a good win for these girls to finish off our season.”
Williamsport carried the play for long stretches of the game, but Mifflinburg’s goalkeeping tandem of Kristi Benfield and Cassidy McClintock made several key saves to keep the game scoreless in regulation.
Over the final 20 minutes of regulation, it looked as though the Millionaires would be able to break through as they used several long balls and sideline rushes with speed to create scoring chances, but Williamsport was unable to crack the score sheet.
During what turned out to be a physical, evenly-contested match, the Wildcats and Millionaires traded chances — and shots — on the pitch.
Late in the second half, a yellow card was issued to a Mifflinburg player for a hard tackle, much to the dismay of the home crowd.
Though he was happy to get the victory, Hankamer was more concerned about his team’s overall health heading into the district playoffs.
“We are dealing with some injuries right now, so it’s nice to get out here with a win and these girls battle and that’s the key for us,” Hankamer said.
Benfield made seven saves and McClintock stopped five shots to combine for the clean sheet for Mifflinburg (7-8-3 overall) in its regular season finale.
Mifflinburg 1, Williamsport 0 (OT)
Miff-Cara Snook, assist Makayla Weber, 89:10.
Shots: 12-12. Corners: Mifflinburg, 4-2; Saves: Mifflinburg, Kristi Benfield and Cassidy McClintock, 12; Williamsport, Lila Vogelsong, 11.