Gwinn’s goal lifts ’Cats

Amanda Gwinn scored with only 57 seconds remaining to give the Huntingdon Lady Bearcats a 3-2 victory over Penn Cambria in the District 6 Class 2A soccer quarterfinals Thursday night at Mansion Park.

Although the game appeared headed for overtime, Huntingdon coach Mike Armstrong wasn’t looking ahead.

“We changed formations with about five minutes left, made a substitution to do that,” Armstrong said, “and went for it.”

There was a scramble around the net, and Gwinn was able to get a foot on the ball and knock it in for the game-winner.

“Amanda brings some great speed to the outside and is able to chase those balls down and create some havoc in there,” Armstrong said. “Credit to her for putting herself in there and making it work to get one.”

Gwinn, a sophomore forward, was happy with the win and her goal.

“There was a lot of congestion (around the net), and it was kinda do or die,” she said. “I did not want to go into overtime.”

The Huntingdon boys had beaten Penns Valley in double overtime prior to the Lady Bearcats’ win.

“We’ve done that (double overtime), and it’s not fun,” Gwinn said. “We saw most of the boys game before we started warming up.”

The girls game started 75 minutes late because of the length of the boys contest.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Gwinn said of the long wait, “because we wanted to see the boys play, and it was great for them to pull out a win, too.”

The game was only 5 minutes old when Penn Cambria’s Kristyn Smith booted one into the upper right corner to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

“It seems like it takes one from the other team to get us going,” Armstrong said.

He was right. Gwinn scored from the left side with 23:20 left, and Maddie DeForrest tallied one at 19:29 to give Huntingdon a 2-1 advantage at the half.

With 19:59 to go in the second half, Penn Cambria’s Emmy Harvey booted one into the net from about 25 yards out.

“We knew Harvey was the heart and soul of their team,” Armstrong said.

It remained 2-2 until Gwinn scored the tie-breaker with less than a minute to play in regulation.

“As coaches, we like to play with formations a lot,” Armstrong said, “so making that change wasn’t new. Our girls are used to that, and it gives us an opportunity to attack different spaces on the field and be successful.”

Penn Cambria, coached by Mackenzie Walter, finished the season with a 13-5 record. The win improved Huntingdon’s record to 11-5-2.

The Bearcats’ reward for Thursday’s big win is a date with unbeaten Bedford (16-0), the defending district champion and a state semifinalist a year ago. The Huntingdon-Bedford 6-2A semifinal will be played Monday.

SCORE BY HALVES

Huntingdon 2 1 — 3

Penn Cambria 1 1 — 2

First half: PC–K. Smith, 34:34; H–A. Gwinn, 23:20; H–DeForrest, 19:29.

Second half: PC–Harvey, 19:59; H–A. Gwinn, 0:57.

Records: Huntingdon (11-5-2); Penn Cambria (13-5).

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