HOLLIDAYSBURG - Three weeks ago, the Tyrone girls soccer team spoiled Huntingdon's senior night with a one-goal victory in the final minute.
Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium, the Lady Bearcats returned the favor and then some.
Sam Mansberger slid a shot past Tyrone goalkeeper Mikayla Fisher with 4:32 remaining to give ninth-seeded Huntingdon a 2-1 win in the District 6 Class AA first round playoffs, ending the eighth-seeded Lady Eagles' season.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
Huntingdon’s Kyra Shea fights for the ball with Tyrone’s Kelsey Emeigh.
"I assigned homework [Monday] night to the girls to post something on each others' lockers throughout the day," Huntingdon coach Anita Valerio said, mentioning one note reminding players of the 1-0 loss on Oct. 4. "It was just fitting because that's what everyone was thinking about.
"Mentally, we were ready. It wasn't our best game, but a win is a win. We'll take it. They kept working hard. I'm happy with their effort."
Mansberger, who added an assist on Kyra Shea's first-half tally, picked up a loose ball on the right side of the field, scooted around a defender and poked a grounder past a charging Fisher.
She felt it was her chance to step up.
"I saw the goalie coming out and I was like, 'I'm going to do this for my team. I want this goal,'" Mansberger said. "I wanted to help my team and move on and keep playing.
"We wanted this. We wanted to come out on top."
Ellen Crook scored midway through the first half for Tyrone, which ended the season with a 12-6 record - a major improvement from its 1-17 effort last year.
"It was a tight game," Tyrone coach Jonathan Virgilio said. "The girls played with heart. We've come a long way."
Crook nearly scored again in the second half.
Her bloop shot over Huntingdon keeper Ashley Laird, who was charging on the play, rung off the post and out of harm's way with 16:32 left in the game.
"We definitely were surging in the second half," Virgilio said. "We got a lot of opportunities, but we weren't able to capitalize."
Each of the three games between the teams this season were decided by one goal. Huntingdon earned a 4-3 overtime victory at Tyrone in September.
"These were tough games all year," Valerio said. "I'm glad we got this one and will move on."
With the victory, the Lady Bearcats (10-7) will visit top-seeded Forest Hills in Thursday's quarterfinal.
"We don't know much about Forest Hills," Valerio said. "We play in completely different leagues. It's kind of hard to measure. We're going to work some kinks out tomorrow and hope to play our best soccer on Thursday."
SCORE BY HALVES
Huntingdon1 1 - 2
Tyrone1 0 - 1
First half: 1, T-Crook (Vance), 17:17; 2, H-Shea (Mansberger), 24:06.
Second half: 3, H-Mansberger (unassisted), 75:28.
Records: Huntingdon (10-7), Tyrone (12-6).