By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- Once the horn went off at Kenneth Robbins Stadium, the Shikellamy girls all screamed and cheered as gathered for a group hug near midfield.
For a team that hadn't even been to the playoffs since 2007, it was an enormous win in the District 4 Class AA tournament against second-seeded Central Columbia.
The Braves came out aggressive in the first half, scoring three goals en route to a 3-1 quarterfinal win over the Blue Jays at Loyalsock H.S.
"It's very big. I'm just a sophomore, so I've been with a great group of girls this year. I know our seniors want it really bad and we deserved this," Shikellamy's Mikayla Neff said. "We've been working so hard and I just knew I had to come out here and give it all I got and that's what we did and it paid off."
Neff more than gave it all she had as she single-handedly helped boost Shikellamy's lead in less than a minute's time.
Haley Bingaman scored just 44 seconds into the game when she rifled a shot to the near post from about 15 yards out.
With 16:32 to play, it was Neff who was fed a beautiful cross from Elise Brubaker just inside the goal box. Neff snuck a shot past Central Columbia goalie Paige Siegrist to the near post.
Just 45 ticks later, Neff scored again, this time from behind the 18-yard box to dead-center of the goal for a huge 3-0 Shikellamy lead.
"I was still nervous at 3-0. It wasn't anything to celebrate at halftime," Braves coach Angela Sivillo said. "Very nervous the second half. It was a great start to the game, but I told the girls at halftime it's 0-0. We need to go out, focus on defense and pull out this game."