---- — By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG -- With almost 30 minutes elapsed since Midd-West first scored a goal, coach Russ Goodling thought to himself on the sidelines that it'd really be nice if the Mustangs could net another goal.
That's when Janelle Arbogast came through for her coach.
With just over 7:30 remaining in the second half, Arbogast took a loose ball and dribbled just between the boxes. Milton goalie Dani Lincoln dived to her right, anticipating a shot to the near post, but Arbogast sent it across to the far post, sneaking it just inside for the second goal.
It gave the Mustangs some appreciated breathing room.
"That was a big relief. I was just thinking to myself, 'Boy we could use another goal right now,' and she finally got one in," Goodling said. "She has a little trouble at times doing that, but she cashed in on that one, so that was good."
Midd-West tacked on a third goal late and the Mustangs blanked the Black Panthers, 3-0, in a HAC-I league game at Middleburg on Monday evening.
After being held to just three shots in the first half, the Mustangs (2-3, 1-2 HAC-I) came out and played solid offensively against the Black Panthers (3-2, 2-2 HAC-I) during the second half, recording 10 shots.
Kenedi Moyer struck first for Midd-West to break open the game when she got a breakaway pass and dribbled down the right side of the 18-yard box and fired a deep shot to the far post to net the 1-0 goal just under three minutes into the second half.
"It's definitely going to be a tough game. Their seniors are very, very good. Kenedi (Moyer) and Morgan (Goodling) and Janelle (Arbogast), they play the game very well. They keep it simple and just get it out wide and do their thing," Milton coach Max Campbell said. "I think we broke down in the second half, started pushing people up front and our midfield wasn't there and definitely not our night just from the get-go."
Midd-West's defense never let Milton get a shot off from inside the 18-yard box, holding the Black Panthers to long shots. The Black Panthers ended the night with seven shots: three from Alexa Landis and two from Mackenna Miller.
"That's something we're still continuously working on," Goodling said of his team's defensive effort. "Last week that was something specifically we worked on: how our defense is supposed to be reacting on the field to where the ball is. The girls are getting it. (We) still have some fine-tuning to do, but they're getting it definitely."
Midd-West's final goal of the game came with 1:22 remaining in regulation, and it surprised even Makenzi Kauffman, who kicked it.
Kauffman fired a shot roughly 25 yards deep and saw it land a few feet in front of Lincoln in the goal. Kauffman turned around expecting Lincoln to catch it, only to hear cheers as her ball bounced over Lincoln's head and into the net for the third goal of the game.
Milton did have a handful of chances to put a score on the board.
The Black Panthers' Landis dribbled a ball to the front of the 18-yard box and fired to the near post. Midd-West's Paige Kauffman had a great diving stop to knock it away and prevent the go-ahead goal.
Landis again had a great chance to put one in as Milton trailed 1-0 with 24:19 remaining when she got a pass dead center of the 18-yard box and dribbled it around a little before finally rifling a shot. Kauffman blocked the shot before scooping it up.
"We played pretty much 80 minutes of soccer tonight, something we haven't put together yet this season and the girls, they worked hard," Goodling said. "(The first goal) knocked the wind out of their sails a little bit and then they just kept up the pressure. It was a good night."