Susquehannock pulls PIAA stunner
HOLLIDAYSBURG >> On the statewide stage for the first time, the Susquehannock Warriors wasted no time introducing themselves to the rest of the PIAA and doing it in dramatic fashion.
Midway through the first overtime period, senior midfielder Emily Landis fired a shot into the box that deflected off a defender and slowly skirted pass the goalkeeper, giving Susquehannock a 2-1 upset win over undefeated Central High from nearby Martinsburg at Hollidaysburg High School. The Dragons came in ranked among the top 25 in the state according to MaxPreps.
"It was off my left foot so I wasn't even sure if I should shoot it," Landis said with a laugh. "But then it was, 'Oh my gosh, we just won our first round of states.'"
The game wouldn't have needed overtime if not for some late-game heroics on the Central side. Down 1-0 with just over two minutes left, the Dragons awoke. Sophomore Olivia Smith fired a shot from 25 yards out that cleared the reach of Ashley Stone, who finished with seven saves, bounced down off the crossbar and into the net. The Central-heavy crowd erupted.
"It was a tough one," Susquehannock head coach Pat Brubaker admitted. "All season, we've made a living on getting a lead and finishing off games. But it's the state tournament and that's a 20-0 team that's not used to losing, so we knew they would fight the full 80 minutes."
Despite making a 180-mile trip to Hollidaysburg and coming into their first appearance in the PIAA tournament as heavy underdogs to the undefeated District 6 champs, the Warriors came out as the more aggressive team. Senior forward Maddy Mummert put three shots on goal as Susquehannock led in shots, 5-3, and in corners, 2-0, at the half. The Warriors continued to put pressure on the Dragons in the second half, racking up three shots in the first five minutes, but they couldn't find the back of the net until Mummert's strike with just under 15 minutes to go. Mummert, who has helped carry the Warriors offense all season, took a 30-yard through ball down the middle of the field from Landis. She skipped it over the goalkeeper, who had come out of the box, then outran the defense to finish it.
"I saw Maddy run over so I slotted it over the middle," Landis said. "Then she had a perfect goal."
Surrounded by his jubilant team after the game, Brubaker put the win into perspective.
"To get a win in the state tournament, you could coach a lot more years and not get another one," Brubaker said. "So we'll enjoy it."
Susquehannock 2, Central 1 (OT)
Second Half — 1. Sus, Maddy Mummert (Emily Landis), 14:22. 2. Cen, Olivia Smith (Ashley Negley), 2:02.
Overtime — 3. Sus, Own goal (Emily Landis), 8:08.
Shots on goal — Sus 9, Cen 7. Corners — Sus 4, Cen 1. Goalies — Sus, Ashley Stone (7 saves), Cen, Maddie Bartek (8 saves).