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Palmyra Girls' Soccer 043BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – Sure the best defense is an unrelenting offense. But everything originates from the midfield.

On a cool Thursday evening at In The Net Sports Complex, the Palmyra girls’ soccer controlled every quadrant of the pitch to whitewash Central Dauphin East 4-0 in its home and Mid-Penn Keystone Division opener. By being quick to the ball, winning it and then possessing it, the Cougars scored twice in each half, in a variety of ways and got goals from four different sources.

Defensively, the Cougars did not allow the Panthers to even sniff a shot on goal.

Palmyra Girls' Soccer 050The result evened Palmyra’s early season record at 1-1. The Cougars are coming off an 8-9-2 campaign and a District Three playoff appearance.

C.D. East is also 1-1.

“This game, we were able to keep the ball at feet, and we were able to move the ball,” said Palmyra head coach Alanna Dunkle, referring to a 3-1 season-opening setback to Donegal. “We played pretty well in the midfield. That’s integral. It’s very important. If the middle falls apart, it would create trouble for the rest of the field.

“It’s extremely related (defensively),” continued Dunkle. “If you don’t let them get up there, the defense doesn’t have to do much. I’m offensive-minded. I was a forward and if it was up to me, we’d always be pushing up.”

Palmyra Girls' Soccer 071After Palmyra sophomore forward Nyah Combs clanged one off the post eight minutes in, the Cougars scored for real five minutes later, on a well-placed corner kick off the foot of Janelle Hibshman. Hibshman’s right-footer from the right side was targeted for the near post, and when the C.D. East goalkeeper tried to punch it away, she inadvertently knocked it in.

“They were all a result of hard work,” said Dunkle of her side’s offense. “So far, our goals have come from hard work and wanting it more than the other team. It was a little slow at the start. I expected them (her players) to come out a little harder. We got better as the game went on, and we used girls at different positions.

“It was our first league game and our first home game,” added Dunkle. “This counts for a little more. It’s also a higher weighted game. It’s just huge. It’s nice that we played well.”

Palmyra added to its 1-0 lead four minutes later, and it resulted from a counter-attack.

Senior Nikki Bowman was sent ahead, in alone on the Panther goal. The C.D. East keeper came off her mark and get a piece of the ball, but Bowman stayed with it, and then after a quick touch, used her left foot to dribble it into the open cage.

“I think we’re really coming along,” said Dunkle. “There’s been extensive growth. But we are nowhere near our peak.

“It’s (team chemistry) awesome,” Dunkle continued. “The camaraderie is amazing all around. We had four  girls voted as captains. The quality of girls on this team, their character is second to none.”

The Cougars extended their lead to 3-0, with 16:45 to go, off another corner taken by Hibshman. Hibshman’s boot found Combs on the far post, and Combs used her right foot to go top shelf. from in close.

Palmyra Girls' Soccer 004“I’m not much to preach about winning,” said Dunkle. “For me, our goal, every single game is to play our best. Then take it from there.

“It’s about showing up everyday,” Dunkle added. “It’s staying connected as a team. It’s everyone playing as a team.”

Using her speed from the right side of the pitch, senior defense-person Megan Early closed out the scoring for Palmyra with 7:39 left.

The Cougars piled up a total of 18 shots and 14 corner kicks. Sophomore goalie Bailey Corrigan was credited with the shutout.



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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to: https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.




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2017 Palmyra Girls’ Soccer Schedule

10:00 AM L 1-3 Box Score
09/05 *
Lower Dauphin
6:30 PM
09/07 *
CD East
6:30 PM W 4-0 Box Score
Garden Spot
3:45 PM Palmyra High School
09/12 *
6:30 PM Mechanicsburg High School
09/14 *
Mifflin County
6:30 PM In The Net Sports Complex, Palmyra
Northern York
11:00 AM In The Net Sports Complex, Palmyra
09/21 *
7:00 PM Hershey High School
6:30 PM Palmyra High School
09/26 *
@CD East
4:00 PM CD East High School
@Conestoga Valley
7:00 PM Conestoga Valley High School
@Cedar Crest
6:30 PM Cedar Crest High School
10/03 *
6:30 PM In The Net Sports Complex, Palmyra
10/05 *
@Mifflin County
4:00 PM Mifflin County High School
6:30 PM In The Net Sports Complex, Palmyra
10/12 *
6:15 PM In The Net Sports Complex, Palmyra
10/14 *
@Lower Dauphin
2:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School
@Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM Bishop McDevitt High School


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Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division

Lower Dauphin 1-0 1-0
Palmyra 1-0 1-1
Mechanicsburg 0-0 2-0
CD East 0-1 1-1
Hershey 0-1 0-2
Mifflin County 0-0 0-0



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