Ritzman’s hat trick propels Juniata by Lady ’Cats

BELLEFONTE – The Lady Bearcats of Huntingdon traveled to Rogers Stadium at Bellefonte with hopes of extending their season against Juniata Thursday night.

The Lady Indians, led by Elisabeth Ritzman and Joelle Winey, had other plans, as Juniata won the quarterfinal game of the District 6 Class AA playoffs, 4-0.

“It was a tough game,” Huntingdon coach Anita Young said. “It was basically a 20 minute span where they pulled away from us. I thought we played well, just a few lapses on defense.”

Ritzman blew a scoreless game open in the second half, netting all three of her goals in opening 20 minutes of the second half.

The senior forward broke open the scoring, as she trickled a ball passed the keeper with 34:28 remaining.

Just four minutes later, Ritzman found herself in great position, pounding home a rebound, pushing the score to 2-0.

Her last goal came in the 20th minute of second half, as she smashed home a beautiful crossing pass from Christen Baublitz.

“We look to Elisabeth to score for us,” Juniata head coach Brian Strawser said. “Maybe not three goals, but she picked a great time to do that. She is a dangerous scorer for us and she came up big tonight for us.”

While Ritzman lit up the score board, Winey made sure the Lady Bearcats stayed off the board.

The senior keeper wrangled six saves en route to her shutout.

Kyra Shea tested Juniata keeper in the first half, as she fired a hot shot right into the hands of Joelle Winey.

Winey was tried again as Natanya Shingler drove the ball deep into the goal box, only to have the senior keeper charge the ball and preserve her shutout.

“Joelle is a tough keeper,” Strawser said. “When she is tested, she responds time and again. Tonight, her defense played well in front of her and she responded by not letting one passed her.”

The Lady ‘Cats pressed the attack but could never quite figure out the Juniata defense.

While the season ended on a sour note, Young knows these Lady Bearcats are special.

“This is the best team I have coached in my six years,” Young said. “We had nine captains on this team. These nine seniors all possessed unique leadership qualities. They played their hearts outall year and I am proud to be their coach. Though the season didn’t end the way we would have liked, it was a great ride.”


Juniata0 4 – 4

Huntingdon0 0 – 0

SECOND HALF: J – Ritzman (unassisted) 34:28. Ritzman (unassisted) 30:01. Horning (unassisted) 21:36. J-Ritzman (Baublitz) 20:00.

Records: Juniata (13-5), Huntingdon (12-6).