CHAMBERSBURG >> With their season winding down, the Chambersburg Lady Trojans needed a win Tuesday to keep their postseason hopes alive.
But with State College in town, that win would not be easy.
Despite a courageous game-tying goal from senior Cristen Kelly on Senior Night, Chambersburg couldn't lock in a win over the Little Lions, who beat the Lady Trojans 2-1 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game.
"I knew this was my last (home) game and I wanted to give it everything I got because I won't get these memories back," Kelly said after she beat two defenders to notch a goal and even the score 1-1 in the first half. "I just took it to the hoop and took the chance. I didn't think it was going to go in because I kicked it with my left foot but it went in and it even shocked me. It was amazing."
"She definitely injected life back into us going into the second half and we needed that," Trojan coach Eric Guyer said.
Chambersburg (7-9-1, 6-7 MPC) came into Tuesday's game knowing its chance for the playoffs was in jeopardy, and with Senior Night and another division game on tap, the Trojans were ready to leave it all on the field.
"You could tell the girls were focused – it's their last game here playing in this stadium," Guyer said. "Yesterday when we talked about (playoffs), they were a little bit surprised that we were still where we are at, so that was extra incentive."
As of Tuesday, Chambersburg was ranked 23rd in District 3 Class AAA, and just the top 20 teams make it to the postseason. The Trojans have one game left in the regular season, against undefeated Cumberland Valley, and while they are not mathematically out of the playoff running, after Tuesday's loss it doesn't look good.
The Chambersburg defense worked hard against an attack-based State College team (9-3-1, 8-3-1 MPC), especially holding off Haley Crawford, who has been a major threat for the Little Lions against Chambersburg. Last season she scored five goals against the Trojans in two games.
Crawford netted the first goal for State College in the fourth minute of play off a free kick by Lauren Anderson. Crawford then had another breakaway early in the second half that could have easily been a goal, but sophomore Ashlynn Swanger put her body on the line to stop the play.
"Swanger is one of the smallest girls stature-wise girls on the field, but she plays the biggest," Guyer said. "She's probably the most physical girls on the team. She isn't intimidated by anybody else."
Chambersburg keeper Megan Cottingham had five saves in the win, including a great stop when three State College attackers were moving in late in the second half, but just a minute later Payton Porter scored the game-winner for the Little Lions.
State College 2, Chambersburg 1
First half — (SC) Haley Crawford, asst. Lauren Anderson and Saede Eifrig, 4th min., (Ch) Cirsten Kelly, 25th.
Second half — (SC) Payton Porter, asst. Emily Kiver, 59th.
Shots — SC 12, Chbg 8; Corner kicks — SC 4, Chbg 1; Saves — SC 3 (Caitlyn Fosnacht), Chbg 5 (Megan Cottingham)
JV score — State College 4, Chambersburg 2.