By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- It was all but too easy for East Juniata, both the boys and the girls soccer teams, on Tuesday afternoon at Loyalsock Community Stadium.
And while wins may have come easy for both, for the girls squad it was a huge sense of relief. For the past few seasons, the East Juniata girls failed to do what the boys squad made look as simple as their scoring: win a district playoff game.
The boys have won more than a few District 4 playoff games -- try three straight titles -- while the girls haven't been able to win one.
On Tuesday afternoon though, the girls finally won a district game with a 9-0 blowout win over Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech.
"Coming in districts, the past few years we haven't been able to make it over the first hump. To have just done that, it means a lot and it really does give us a lot of confidence (going into the next round)," East Juniata senior Kayla Hoke said. "Being my senior year, it just makes it all the better. It's just an amazing feeling."
Hoke scored two straight goals for the Tigers against CMVT early in the first half. Before the Rams knew what hit them, the rout was on. McKayla Goodling scored just 1:27 into the first half before Autumn Dressler added a second goal less than two minutes later.
"That's awesome (scoring that fast). Gives you a good start, makes them feel more pumped and they were ready to go hard and strong," East Juniata girls coach Lori Goodling said.
The East Juniata girls put the mercy rule into effect with 17:35 to play in the first half and only allowed two total shots in the blowout, only one of which was on goal late in the game.
"We have one of the best defenses I'd say (in the past four years)," Hoke said. "I have so much confidence that if the ball goes back there, I have pure confidence in our defense."
The boys may not have put up the goals as fast as the girls did, but nonetheless, the Tigers routed Galeton, too, in a 7-0 shutout immediately following the girls victory.
Devin Goodling scored twice for the boys -- two of East Juniata's first three -- and helped put Galeton into a hole early.
One thing Galeton could not do was keep up with East Juniata. The Tigers' speed was only amplified on the turf at Loyalsock and it allowed East Juniata to move and get into position to take shots from all over the field. The Tigers fired at Galeton's goalies 38 times by the game's final horn, including 14 that were on goal. And of those 14 shots on goal, half went in.
"Our coach told us to keep moving the ball and keep moving," East Juniata senior defender Spencer Reinford said. "They have to react to you, so try and make them react to us."
Galeton could do little reacting against East Juniata offensively, although Galeton's goalies (James Sunderlain, and Hunter Rachiele) did have 13 combined saves -- nine from Sunderlain -- in trying to slow down East Juniata's offense.
"They came and had some intensity. That's something you want to see in another team, put some pressure on us," East Juniata coach Don Troutman said. "I thought we did a great job of pressuring the ball all over the field and when we're pressuring like that, that really comes out of our speed of play and it really helps us."
The East Juniata boys face Loyalsock on Saturday while the girls face today's Sayre/Benton winner on Saturday. The time and location of Saturday's games are to be determined.