Determined Lady Tigers blank ’Cats

11/02/16 Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski / Hollidaysburg's McKenna Hurd (22) celebrates her goal with Mandy Sky who set her up on a corner kick.

Hollidaysburg’s Sydney Routch was getting frustrated after missing on one opportunity after another in the first half of the District 6 Class 3A girls soccer championship game.

The junior forward stuck with it, though, and finally got one past Huntingdon keeper Katie Shultz with 2:19 remaining in the first half for a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Tigers tacked on another goal in the second half to capture their first district title in nine years with a 2-0 win over Huntingdon on Wednesday at Mansion Park.

“I was getting really frustrated, but I knew it was still a 0-0 game and that I can’t put my head down and let it affect my game,” Routch said. “It was a big sense of relief to finally get one for my team.”

Routch’s first shot went off Shultz’s hands and banged off the crossbar. Her second shot rolled just to the right of the cage after Shultz charged out of the net and deflected the ball.

The trend continued until the 38th minute when Routch took a pass from Gabby Cantos, split a pair of defenders and buried a shot in the lower right corner of the net.

“It was big getting the first goal. It makes the other team work a little more, press a little harder and opens up more opportunities for us,” Hollidaysburg coach Dave Soellner said. “It gave us a little momentum going into halftime. I’ve felt all year we’ve been a lot better in the second half.”

The win gave Hollidaysburg its first girls soccer title since 2007 and qualified the team for the state playoffs.

The Lady Tigers play the District 7 runnerup Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. Moon and Montour play Friday in the District 7 championship game.

The game remained 1-0 until the 15:04 mark of the second half when McKenna Hurd put in a header from the middle of the goal area off a Mandy Sky corner kick.

“We work a lot on that play in practice. It was the perfect ball, and I directed it in with my head,” Hurd said.

Hurd talked about how a loss in the district finals two years ago and not making the district championship game last year motivated the team to finish the job this year.

“We finally got it. We’ve been training hard since March for this. All the hard work paid off,” she said. “I’ve never been this happy. I’m so excited. It’s the best.”

Shultz kept the Lady Bearcats within striking distance with 23 saves, but Huntingdon couldn’t mount any sustained offensive pressure.

“Katie Shultz played amazing. She stopped so many chances, but at some point, they were bound to get one in,” Huntingdon coach Lindsey Kauffman said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The girls played with heart. They played with excitement. It was a great season. I’m a proud coach.”

SCORE BY HALVES

Huntingdon    0  0 — 0

Hollidaysburg      1  1 — 2

First half: HB–Routch (Cantos), 2:19.

Second half: HB–Hurd (Sky), 15:04.

Records: Huntingdon (10-9-1); Hollidaysburg (11-5-2).

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