By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG -- About midway through the second half of Tuesday's Heartland-I opener, Jayme Longacre had finally seen enough.
Mifflinburg's second-year coach called out to Cassie Lewis and asked the senior mid to play a defensive style.
More than 30 minutes of game time had elapsed since the Wildcats scored, and Lewisburg's attack -- spurred to life by that goal -- was just as relentless.
Longacre took the bird-in-hand view, deciding it best to protect a one-goal lead than trying to add to it.
"It only takes one to win, so if we could keep them (trailing 1-0) that was the tactic," said Longacre. "That was our strategy at that point."
The Wildcats slowed Lewisburg's attack ever-so-slightly over the final 15 minutes and preserved a 1-0 win in the early season showdown.
The Green Dragons triggered 19 penalty corners (nearly five times as many as Mifflinburg) but couldn't so much as even the score. It was tough pill to swallow after the team tallied 11 goals in its two scrimmages.
"It's was very frustrating, but it's also a lesson," said Lewisburg coach Emily O'Connor. "We haven't really seen that (struggle to score) so far this year. We need to experience adversity to get better. I'm OK with a wake-up experience. It's so early and this team has so much potential."
The Dragons' actual wake-up call occurred a little more than 10 minutes into the game. The feeling-out period ended when Lewis crossed a pass through the circle to Kayla Kline and she directed it toward Jacqueline Beck near the left post. The ball clipped her foot and momentarily gave away possession, but the Wildcats recovered almost immediately.
Beck went head-on with Lewisburg keeper Dentin Kline, who came out to make a save but wasn't able to stop Beck's rebound shot.