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Girls shut out in 4-0 playoff loss against Schuylkill Valley as season comes to an end

By David Barr

davidbarr@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 11/1/17

The Middletown girls soccer season came to an end Saturday after a 4-0 loss at the hands of Schuylkill Valley in a District 3 AA quarterfinal at Leesport.

Schuylkill Valley, runner-up in the Berks …

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Girls shut out in 4-0 playoff loss against Schuylkill Valley as season comes to an end

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The Middletown girls soccer season came to an end Saturday after a 4-0 loss at the hands of Schuylkill Valley in a District 3 AA quarterfinal at Leesport.

Schuylkill Valley, runner-up in the Berks II Division with a 12-6-2 record, earned a bye in the first round of district play. 

Against the Panthers, the Raiders gave up a goal just more than three minutes in when Schuylkill Valley found the back of the net off the foot of Hannah Seltzer after an assist from Madison Stichter on a corner kick at the 36:48 mark.

The Raiders had an opportunity to tie the game less than a minute later, but the shot went wide left. They endured three more chances by Schuylkill Valley in the next three minutes, all of which were denied. Two shots were stopped by Raider goalie Amanda Lee, and the other went high over the crossbar.

Middletown had two chances to cut the deficit to 2-1 when the ball rebounded off the Panther goalie, but the Raiders couldn’t capitalize, sending both followup attempts wide of the net.

The backbreaker came with just 25 seconds left in the first half. Lee made the initial stop, but couldn’t corral the ball and Schuylkill Valley’s Taylor Romberger did what Middletown couldn’t do earlier and made good on the second opportunity to increase Schuylkill Valley’s lead to 3-0 at the intermission.

Schuylkill Valley controlled the action for the majority of the second half, icing the game with its fourth goal, with 2:24 left in the game. Kaelan Cronan scored on an assist by Sadie Goad, who had been responsible for the second Panther goal of the evening.

As Middletown coach Timothy Neff described it, several factors led to the loss, including how Middletown lost the battle inside the 18-yard or penalty box and how they gave up a goal in the first five and last five minutes of the first half. 

He said two Panther goals came off rebounds after Lee deflected the ball, and Middletown couldn’t capitalize on rebound chances.

“They cashed in, we didn’t,” Neff said.

The season was one of progress as they achieved one goal: to advance further in the playoffs than they did in 2016. Last year, Middletown was knocked out in the first round by Lancaster Mennonite. They advanced to the quarterfinal round in 2015, but has never had a team advance further than that.

The possibility exists for Middletown to accomplish that goal in the 2018 season, as they will have eight returning starters from this year’s squad, despite losing five seniors to graduation.

“We need to get beyond this point,” Neff said.

Middletown (10-10) defeated Biglerville 1-0 in overtime in the first round of districts on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to set up the Saturday night showdown with the Panthers. Ashley Barni scored the game-deciding goal on an assist from Hayli Akakpo-Martin, while goalie Amanda Lee had 5 saves in the win.


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