Mechanicsburg’s late goal in matchup against Palmyra field hockey wasn’t enough; Cougars win 2-1 in central Pennsylvania clash

The Fall season has only just begun, but both the nearly all-new Palmyra and Mechanicsburg rosters gunned for goals all the way down to the end of their first 60-minute contest.


The Cougars were able to edge out the ‘Cats 2-1 Wednesday on Mechanicsburg’s home turf at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park. Both teams play in District 3, Class 2A, and the Mid-Penn Conference (Keystone Division).


And, both squads graduated a majority of last year’s starters. But, you couldn’t tell. Despite the game time changing to 7:30 p.m., due to the central Pennsylvania heat wave, the athletes competed to win.


Palmyra senior Keely Bowers cracked the cage first. She was assisted by sophomore Jovie Weaver. Her goal was off a corner and scored in the first quarter.


The Cats had two breakaways in that quarter, but couldn’t control the ball in their attack 25.


The second quarter was an entirely different game for Mechanicsburg. Fresh faces are injecting speed – agility, footwork, self starts, and sprints – into each line from the attack all the way back to defense.


Several Mechanicsburg freshman are unafraid to challenge a Palmyra double team, winning a couple two versus one situations, and being the outnumbered player.


The score remained 1-0 at halftime.


Momentum continued to build for the Cats in the third. Just when one thought it couldn’t get any hotter outside at 8 p.m., Mechanicsburg turned up the heat. They capitalized on the basics, which is what staved off Palmyra’s relentless corner opportunities.


Palmyra lucked out with a corner call four minutes into the third. The shot was redirected by Mechanicsburg’s unintimidated defense.


On the next play, the Cougars used their advantage of a 25-yard free hit to score. There was a lot of movement inside the circle, which opened up space for senior Morgan Lantz to position herself near the stroke mark. Mechanicsburg pushed the ball out of the circle onto Bowers stick.


Bowers sent the ball back to Lantz, who used “patience” to decide her shot option. Off her back foot, she hurled the ball above Mechanicsburg defenders, and goalie, to make the game 2-0.


Palmyra continued to win corners and possession, but their second goal was all that Mechanicsburg was giving up for the night.


The Cat’s cut the deficit in the fourth. Mechanicsburg freshman Mary Olivetti forced Palmyra’s defense to foul and drew a corner.


Kayla Weldon powered the ball into the cage after receiving it from Liberty Olivetti.


Palmyra tried to respond, earning another corner immediately following the next whistle after Mechanicsburg’s goal. The intensity of the game elevated to a green card issued for stick obstruction.


Even though Mechanicsburg had the two-minute advantage, with one Palmyra player out, the Cats weren’t able to find the equalizer.

Palmyra 1-0-1-0: 2

Goals: Bowers, 1; Lantz, 1

Assists: Bowers, 1; Weaver, 1

Shots: 7

Corners: 10

Saves: Abby Bennett, 2

Mechanicsburg 0-0-0-1: 1

Goals: Weldon, 1

Assists: Olivetti, 1

Shots: 2

Corners: 3

Saves: 6

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