By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
BLOOMSBURG -- The ball went wide of its intended target and East Juniata fans could have been forgiven for thinking that they were in the clear.
However, an instant later, the ball was in the back of the net from Southern Columbia's Haley Levan.
The goal from the sophomore midfielder with 2:51 left gave Southern Columbia a hard-fought 2-1 victory over East Juniata in a District 4 Class A quarterfinal.
"I knew sooner or later, I was going to get a header in but I was so glad it finally came so we could win," Levan said. "It was much-needed. I knew we were going to score but I wasn't sure when."
The goal from Levan sent the Southern Columbia crowd into a frenzy with the time winding down in a game that was controlled by Southern almost the entire way.
"She's great with her head, just had to get a chance to get her head on it," Southern Columbia coach Derek Stine said regarding Levan.
With the win, Southern will face Troy in the semifinal round after the Trojans defeated Sayre earlier in the day.
Despite peppering East Juniata goalkeeper Lydia Hunter with shots, the top seed was not able to break through until the second half, as Hunter dove and stretched around the goal to keep the ball out.
"Our defense showed up well. I knew we were going to have a tough battle," East Juniata coach Lori Goodling said. "We just told our girls to work for 80 minutes today and I thought they did that."
East Juniata was looking for an upset in the nine-versus-one matchup in an attempt to return to the state playoffs. For much of the game, it appeared that East Juniata may be able to find the one break it needed to split open a tie game.