By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG -- Kayla Kline saw the goalie in front of her and the goal with Mifflinburg clinging to a slight lead.
Kline hurdled over Kylie Edwards and knocked the ball into the open net for a Wildcats goal. It sealed a 3-1 victory for Mifflinburg over Danville in a tight Heartland Athletic Conference Division I match-up.
Edwards left the front of the cage to play a loose ball near the box after a Mifflinburg attack, likely not expecting someone to hurdle over her as she lay sprawled on the grass. However, Kline cleared Edwards with a host of Wildcats around the ball, almost assuring a goal on the play.
"(The hurdle) was pretty much instinct," Kline said. "I knew I had the speed to beat (Edwards) to the ball and I just hustled to try and beat her."
Kline made a hurdle and subsequent shot look almost effortless to secure a win for the Wildcats with 1:40 left in the game. The goal came after a series of penalty corners for the Wildcats in which Danville heightened its pressure on defense to try and keep the Wildcats from extended a one-goal lead.
"(My players) did a nice job," Wildcats head coach Jayme Longacre said. "They finished on some of their opportunities and did what they needed to do."
With time running out in the second half, Danville (8-7-2, 4-6-2 HAC-I) looked to spend its time in the offensive zone to break a first-half shutout.
After Mifflinburg (13-4, 7-3) started the game well, Danville tried to turn the tables on their second penalty corner of the second half. Mifflinburg cleared the first penalty corner but were not as successful the second time around.
On a scrum for the ball in front of the cage, Leah Hartzell had the ball on her stick and shot the ball to the left side of the cage past Nicole Mironenko to put the Ironmen on the board. The goal for Hartzell kept hopes alive for Danville in a game against a team that it may see shortly in the district playoffs.
Danville clinched its first postseason berth since 2004 with a tie against Warrior Run Monday.
"There's a lot of talent (on this team) and I'm glad they're getting (to playoffs)," Danville head coach Dawn Doran said.
The Ironmen had four penalty corners in the next few minutes as the Wildcats continued to retreat to the midfield stripe for corners as the Ironmen had chances to tie the game late. Each time, the Wildcats rushed from midfield and prevented a ball from creeping into the cage.
Both teams battled to a tough, scoreless first half with both goalies forced to dive for saves and kick the ball away from danger. The Wildcats charged into their offensive zone late in the first half but couldn't score.
The Wildcats went to work quickly in the second half with a deflected goal by Delanie Noll off of a penalty corner to put the Wildcats ahead with 24:17 left. The Wildcats continued to press, sending Edwards to all corners of the goal cage to keep the ball away but another penalty corner gave the Wildcats their second tally.
McKenzie Noll had been threatening to score throughout the game in open space and had her chance, scoring unassisted after she dribbled to gain separation to give the Wildcats a two-goal lead.