SUNBURY — Try as both teams might — even using the max 100 minutes allowed for a regular-season soccer match — Shikellamy and Mifflinburg can’t settle a thing.
Nothing was determined when the Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I foes gathered on Sept. 7 in Union County, where a scoreless draw was the eventual result.
And a similar outcome was booked Tuesday at sun-splashed Shikellamy High School, where Mick Bilger’s Braves and Erich Hankamer’s Wildcats had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Eryn Swanger pocketed the lone goal for the Braves, while Cassi Ronk totaled four saves.
Peyton Yocum banked the only Wildcats score, while Kristi Benfield stopped six shots.
Scoreless at the break, as Benfield made a sparkling stop on Hanna Long with just under 29 minutes gone by parrying the ball wide of the right post, Shikellamy (5-4-3, 2-3-3) finally halted the lengthy string of zeroes early in the second
That long-awaited goal arrived at 45:18, when Swanger buried a shot after Alexa Shaw’s composed pass put her behind the defense. Shaw had won a 50-50 challenge at the top of the box, then held the ball momentarily as the play continued to unfold.
Shikellamy’s lead was short-lived, as Mifflinburg (5-5-2, 4-3-2) answered quickly.
And when Emily Walls found the flashy Yocum in the offensive third, the Wildcats sophomore was able to zig-zag through three or four Braves defenders on her way to goal, as her shot across the crease found the left side netting at 48:33.
“She’s been unbelievable for us all season,” Hankamer said of Yocum. “It’s good for her to actually get on the score sheet as a goal scorer than an assist maker.”
Since no one scored again — although both sides had chances — the trend continued.
“Overall, I’m pleased with today’s outing,” said Bilger, whose Braves received terrific outings from defenders Kaylee Richey, Emily Shultz and Taylor Sees.
“We didn’t control it enough in the middle of the field, but we had our chances and we didn’t put a second one away.”
Mifflinburg thought it found a second goal with two minutes left in regulation, but Angelina Feliciano’s goal was erased by an offside violation.
Shikellamy had a great chance midway through the first extra session, but Benfield got just enough of Wiley Egan’s strike to deflect it off the crossbar — and out.
“Kristi made an unbelievable save,” Hankamer said. “My heart stopped a little bit from that one, I’m not going to lie.”
Ronk was tested later in the same stanza, but she rerouted a Cara Snook rip by laying out to her left. A subsequent ball from the right wing was handled cleanly.
“We’ve been having trouble putting goals away,” said Bilger, whose Braves will host Central Mountain on Thursday. “Hopefully, that game will break for us a little bit.”
What’s interesting is these programs could meet a third time if things fall right in the District 4 Class AAA playoffs. There, a winner must be determined.
“We’re up for it,” Hankamer said. “My girls are always ready to play.”
SHIKELLAMY 1, MIFFLINBURG 1
S-Eryn Swanger (Alexa Shaw), 45:18; M-Peyton Yocum (Emily Walls), 48:33.
Shots: S 7-5. Corners: M 4-2. Saves: Mifflinburg (Kristi Benfield-6 saves); Shikellamy (Cassi Ronk-4).