Shikellamy stifles Shamokin
COAL TOWNSHIP - At halftime Saturday, Shikellamy held a 2-1 lead over Shamokin but Braves coach Angela Sivillo was concerned. The Braves had only four shots on goal and even though they scored on two of them, she felt her team wasn't putting enough pressure on the improved Indians.
"Our halftime talk was basically about keeping control of the ball and keeping the ball away from their midfielders," Sivillo said. "We came out strong and kind of regained control."
The Braves (6-5) peppered Shamokin goalkeeper Brianna Martin with 11 shots in the second half but Martin made several good saves and it still took almost 30 minutes before they got an insurance goal. Paige Mancini finally found Martin away from the goal mouth and gave Shikellamy its third goal at the 67:50 mark.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the first half, getting a goal three minutes into the game from Haley Bingaman. Mikayla Neff scored another goal at the 25:34 mark but the Indians finally started to put some pressure on the Braves' end.
Shamokin freshman midfielder Mackenzie Koharski dribbled up the near sideline, made a feint to the middle of the field and blasted a kick toward sophomore Gabriann Lahr, who pulled Shikellamy goalkeeper Kaitlyn Harmon out toward her, then dished left to another sophomore, Danielle Reed, who put the ball in the net behind Harmon with 9:07 remaining in the half.
Koharski had a close miss on a direct kick in the second half but other than that, Shikellamy's defenders kept the Indians at bay in the second 40 minutes.
"Absolutely," Sivillo said when asked about the Indians' improvement. "They're really strong and fast in the midfield."
The game was important to both teams as far as their potential playoff chances even though they're not in the same Heartland Athletic Conference division any more. The Braves moved a game over .500 and Shamokin (4-6) missed a chance to get to .500.
Shamokin coach Matt Whitmer did not talk to the media after the game.
Shamokin hosts Mifflinburg Tuesday night.
Shikellamy (6-5) 2 1 - 3
Shamokin (4-6) 1 0 - 1