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The Palmyra girls' soccer team's future is bright, despite last night's 2-0 home loss to Mechanicsburg. 

IMG_8472BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – They say losing is the greatest teacher in all of sports. But at this stage of its development, the Palmyra girls’ soccer team is extracting lessons from everywhere, and everything.

On a comfortable Tuesday night at In The Net sports complex, a green Cougar squad suffered their first negative outcome of the season, a 2-0 setback at the hands of a pretty good Mechanicsburg club. With Palmyra encountering difficulties generating attack, the Wildcats netted a pair of second-half tallies to break open a scoreless deadlock.

The loss was the first of the year for a Palmyra team that starts as many freshman as it does seniors. The Cougars are now 2-1-2 overall and 2-1 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference.

IMG_8506Once beaten Mechanicsburg improved to 5-1 on the campaign and 3-0 in the circuit.

“We brought in 13 freshmen,” said Palmyra rookie head coach Alanna Dunkle. “We only have three seniors. Our goalie is a freshman. One of our back-line  players is a freshmen. One of our players in front of her is a freshman. We have five or six freshmen who are contributing. I love it. We’re trying to mold them into players. It’s new to them, and it’s new to me.

“The goal is to grow a program,” continued Dunkle. “One that does not accept showing up and being satisfactory. A program where they strive for excellence.”

While last night may not have been the Cougars’ night, they did give a pretty good account of themselves, especially during the opening 40 minutes of action. And it took Mechanicsburg the first 17 minutes of the second half to break through, on a well-placed shot off the right foot of Abby Engle.

IMG_8534Engle found herself with time and space from 35 yards away, then ear-marked a drive for the upper portion of the net, far side. A leaping Palmyra keeper Bailey Corrigan got a gloved hand on it, but the ball caromed behind her, just below the crossbar.

“It was a very good shot,” said Dunkle. “Our keeper didn’t tip it over. Our keepers are young, but she (Corrigan) was positioned well. They (the Wildcats) were playing very good balls into their triangle, and getting good shots out of it.

“I thought we played a very good game,” Dunkle continued. “We were in it the entire game. The score doesn’t always reflect the play. I thought our girls had a really good effort. They (the Wildcats) really capitalized on their opportunities.”

Despite the fact that Mechanicsburg was enjoying the better of the play, the outcome was very much in doubt, until the Wildcats removed it with 4:56 remaining. The Wildcats’ second goal was similar in that it originated from the right side of the field, in that it was well-placed and in that it was well struck.

This time the ball squirted to Megan Schrass, just outside the top of the box. Without taking a touch, Schrass unleashed a right footer that beat Corrigan to the lower left-hand side of the net.

“The finish was a good one,” said Dunkle. “We didn’t clear the ball far enough, which led to a quality shot, which led to the goal.



“They’re (the Wildcats) a good team,” added Dunkle. “They always put together a good team. They hammer it right down the belly. You can tell by how many goals they score. But it was fun.”

In the final tally, Mechanicsburg out shot Palmyra 9-4. Three of the four corners that the Cougars were awarded came in the second half of play.

IMG_8604“We’ve learned how to stick with it,” said Dunkle. “This is actually a learning experience for us. Sometimes you learn more from a loss than you do a win.

“No, I’m not surprised by our start,” Dunkle added. “I have high expectations. If you set the expectations high the only thing you can do is try to keep reaching them. My expectation is not to just play the game. It’s to show up and play well, every game.”

If there was anything disappointing about the Cougars’ performance it was their inability to create dangerous – and quality – scoring chances.

IMG_8495“Offensively, I thought we played pretty well,” said Dunkle. “We’re young. We’ve got a lot of learning to do. One of the biggest things we’re trying to learn is how to make diagonal runs. When we do, we’ll be more dangerous.

“I’m very pleased with the ways the girls play,” continued Dunkle. “I thought our girls came out and played hard. That’s all I can ask: to play hard and give their best.”

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8480To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-11/.

 

 

 

 

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IMG_85632016 Palmyra Girls’ Soccer Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/02 *
@Lower Dauphin
10:00 AM W 2-0
09/03
Donegal
10:00 AM T 1-1
09/08 *
@CD East
4:00 PM W 6-1
09/10
@Garden Spot
12:00 PM T 1-1
09/13 *
Mechanicsburg
6:30 PM L 2-0
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
09/15 *
@Mifflin County
4:15 PM Mifflin County High School
09/17
@Northern York
7:30 PM Northern York High School
09/22 *
Hershey
6:30 PM Palmyra High School
09/26
@Shippensburg
6:30 PM Shippensburg High School
09/27 *
CD East
4:00 PM Palmyra High School
09/29
Conestoga Valley
6:30 PM Palmyra High School
10/01
Cedar Crest
10:00 AM Palmyra High School
10/04 *
@Mechanicsburg
6:30 PM Mechanicsburg High School
10/06 *
Mifflin County
6:30 PM Palmyra High School
10/08 *
Lower Dauphin
3:00 PM Palmyra High School
10/10
@Carlisle
4:15 PM Carlisle High School
10/13 *
@Hershey
7:00 PM Hershey High School
10/15
Bishop McDevitt
10:00 AM Palmyra High School

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 IMG_8578Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Mechanicsburg 3-0 5-1
Palmyra 2-1 2-1-2
Hershey 1-1 2-2
CD East 1-2 3-3
Lower Dauphin 1-2 2-3
Mifflin County 0-3 1-4

 

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