EXETER >> The Governor Mifflin Mustangs traveled a bumpy road to get back to the BCIAA girls’ soccer championship match.
Once they got there, however, the road was surprisingly smooth.
Governor Mifflin poured in 13 shots on target Thursday night, allowing Wilson just two in response, to record a 3-1 victory and notch the program’s second Berks League title in three seasons. The win occurred at Don Thomas Stadium, site of Mifflin’s last title in 2015 over these same Bulldogs.
Madelyn Frey’s one-timer in the box, from roughly eight yards out, with 30:53 to play proved to be title- clincher. It broke a 1-1 tie.
Anna Werner was a sophomore on that Mifflin championship squad from two seasons ago. Thursday night, she was the sparkplug. The senior forward potted a pair of goals — including a sublime, bending effort from the Wilson end line that somehow defied physics to find the far corner of the net for insurance in the 71st minute.
“I was standing right on the end line,” Werner said, “I kicked it with my left foot and curved it into the net. It was the second time I’ve done that this year.
“I was thinking ‘We really need another goal to put this away. I’m just gonna go for it.’ And I chipped it over the goalie’s head. I surprised myself, honestly. We needed another goal and I went out and did it.”
It was a surprisingly one-sided contest. Wilson captured the Berks Section 1 title during the regular season and was the No. 2 seed in the tournament. But the Mustangs, seeded fourth, controlled the contest from start to finish and generated far more scoring chances.
“We needed to keep possession on the ball and get it out wide and get down the sides,” Werner said. “That’s where we’ve had our most luck, off the crosses. And playing possession on the ground.”
An extra push of confidence may have been provided by Mifflin’s league semifinal on Tuesday, when the Mustangs upended defending champion and, to that point, unbeaten top-seed Fleetwood 1-0 in double overtime on a set piece. It was Mifflin’s second straight razor-thin verdict, having dumped Conrad Weiser 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Mifflin head coach Ed Deren: “They felt really good about that. The Fleetwood game really helped our confidence.”
“I believe it was the game we had against Fleetwood, and the competition we’ve played this season, that prepared us for this moment. We’ve played a lot of tough (teams). We wanted to come here and play our style, play up-tempo, and try to dictate what Wilson could not do. We wanted to stay in our offense, in their defensive third. That was our goal tonight.”
The Mustangs cracked the scoreboard in the 13th minute, when Werner took a perfectly-weighted feed from Hannah Teson down the left sideline, carried it into the box, and beat Wilson goalkeeper Darcie Jones to the low far post.
Wilson responded almost immediately, just 1:38 later, when Meredith Hill planted a free kick past Mifflin backup keeper Katelyn Dreibelbis to knot the contest at 1. It was Wilson’s first shot on goal. The Bulldogs would only record one more the rest of the evening.
Mifflin will have to ride Dreibelbis the rest of the way — normal starter Kyra Hartman had knee surgery recently in preparation for the upcoming basketball season. Dreibelbis’s teammates made it a priority to keep the box as clean as possible for their sophomore goalie.
“(Katelyn) stepped up and did a wonderful job,” Deren said. “As a defense, we pride ourselves on not giving up easy shots at all times. We practice it consistently. Regardless of who’s between the pipes, we want to make it as easy as possible on her.”
Mifflin scored what proved to be the title-winner in the 50st minute. Frey received a perfect feed from Jeyda Coronado-Duran, served in at the edge of the box, and flicked a one-timer into the net for a 2-1 lead.
It stayed that way until Werner’s theatrics sealed the deal exactly 21 minutes later.
BCIAA girls’ soccer championship
Governor Mifflin 3, Wilson 1
GM – Anna Werner (Hannah Teson), 12:56
W – Meredith Hill, 14:34
GM – Madelyn Frey (Jeyda Coronado-Duran), 49:07
GM – Werner, 70:07
Shots on goal
GM 13, W 2
GM 9, Wilson 1
GM (Katelyn Dreibelbis) 1, W (Darcie Jones) 9
Team saves: W, 1
Halftime: Governor Mifflin 1, Wilson 1
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