SELINSGROVE – Fighting for loose balls, going past the passes, being in the right positions.
In the second half of Tuesday’s District 4 Class 1A semi-final game at Harold L. Bolig Stadium in the Selinsgrove area, Lewisburg did each of those things better than Line Mountain, which was reflected in the final score, as the No. 2 Green Dragons took a 2-0 decision to advance to Thursday’s championship game against top-seeded Central Columbia.
Despite the loss, the sixth-ranked Eagles will still have a chance to qualify for the PIAA Tournament, needing a win in the third-place game against No. 4 Bloomsburg, also on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Championship game, also at Selinsgrove, will follow at 7 p.m.
Lewisburg (13-5) held possession for a slight majority of the first half, but failed to score on their first five shots, as Line Mountain’s freshman keeper (9 -10-1), Miley Brezgel, made a handful of fine saves to keep it scoreless before the break.
That tie would be broken, however, at 11:24 a.m. of the third quarter, when Green Dragon rookie Maddy Moyers embarked on a long sprint down the field to the center of the circle and slid a goal to the rear of the left side of the cage. past Brezgel, who appeared to have mistimed a kick save.
This first goal greatly helped to relax the Lewisburg team, which lost to Line Mountain, 4-0, at the very start of the regular season. It was also the Eagles who eliminated the Green Dragons, 2-0, in the same round of the playoffs a year ago.
“They beat us earlier in the season so we knew we had to be ready today,” Lewisburg head coach Tonya Berge said. “We improved throughout the season to prepare for this.
“We made so many adjustments during the season. We changed some positions from the start. In every training we worked on something different and the girls applied those things, and that’s what you take it out.”
Line Mountain had a few consecutive shots on goal earlier in the third period, but Lewisburg goaltender Keeley Baker stopped the first before defenseman Carley Wagner stepped in to clear the second in what could have been the game of the game that was that’s not a goal.
“Our defense is generally pretty solid. I just told the girls that we have to keep up the intensity,” Berge said. “I knew (Line Mountain) wasn’t going to pack up and go home after scoring, so we still had to keep the pressure on, and the girls went out there and played amazing today. “
Unlike the fairly even first half in terms of time of possession, the Eagles struggled with their passing after halftime, which led to Lewisburg’s offense often making the contest pushes.
“There were times when we just looked tired, and we couldn’t fight mentally,” Line Mountain head coach Maggie Fessler said. “In this situation, you have to dig deep and figure out if you really want it, and unfortunately we didn’t look like we did tonight.
“(Lewisburg) definitely wanted the ball, and we got caught on our heels a bit, and that’s going to hurt you a lot. They had an intensity that we just didn’t have tonight.”
After Lewisburg took the lead, Line Mountain failed to put another shot on goal the rest of the way.
Tia Berge froze the game for the Green Dragons with less than two minutes left with a flare from the top of the circle that popped off the end of Brezgel’s stick, who sprawled for a save attempt, and to the back from the cage to double Lewisburg’s lead.
So in the biggest game to date of Lewisburg’s 2022 campaign, it was two freshmen, Moyers and Tia Berge, who scored the game’s only goals.
“The future looks bright, that’s for sure,” coach Berge said. “We have a lot of freshmen vying for spots on the varsity team, but those two have been contributing all season, and it’s really paid off here.”
Both successful scoring chances were created by mistakes on the Line Mountain defensive end, leaving Brezgel on an island for hard places.
Although Brezgel suffered the loss emotionally after the game ended, Fessler admitted it would be hard to blame her freshman goaltender, who got up with seven saves on the night.
“When you leave the goalie in a 3-1 situation that often, it’s going to happen,” Fessler admitted. “We just didn’t score as a result, we let them go on the attack and put them in a very difficult position. They often imposed themselves, but it will eventually happen if we give them that much. opportunities.
“I hope we get (angry). I hope a fire starts under us and we go out on Thursday and want more because of it. Because it wasn’t our team at its better tonight, and I think we realize that. . So hopefully we take it personally and compete stronger on Thursday.”
District 4 Class A Semi-Final
at Selinsgrove Area High School
No. 2 Lewisburg 2, No. 6 Line Mountain 0
Shoot to the net: Lewisburg, 9-4. Penalty corners: Mountain Line 6-5. Checked in : Mountain Line 7 (Miley Brezgel), Lewisburg 4 (Keeley Baker).