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Wildcats fall to Helmrich, Millionaires in girls soccer

MILL HALL – Williamsport’s Kailee Helmrich put on a show Wednesday at Malinak Stadium.

The senior–who entered the game with 49 career goals–tallied five scores in the Millionaires’ 6-1 victory over a young Central Mountain team.

Helmrich registered career goal No. 50 midway through the opening half. Shortly after, she recorded her second of the night to give Williamsport an early advantage.

“She’s been struggling a bit I thought with trying to get that 50th, she’s been stuck on 49 for a I told her ‘Don’t work so hard out here, pass it to your teammates and then go work hard’ she changed that and had some really nice goals,” Williamsport coach Scott McNeill said.

After Helmrich’s first two goals, teammate Sarina Beiter found the back of the net to stretch Williamsport’s lead to three. Beiter’s score near the 38-minute mark in the final moments of the first half was the result of pure passing on display from the Millionaires.

“We have been, in a lack of a better term, in a funk,” McNeill said. “We’ve had injuries, covid isolations and I have been playing players where they don’t usually play. We have gone on a three or four losing streak; we’re not used to that. Last night–after we lost–I went home and drew up four or five different lineups and the first one was the I started with tonight. I liked that and committed to that.”

The altered lineup constructed by McNeill paid off for the Millionaires. Williamsport managed to register three more goals in the final half of play to reach its second-highest total all season. It was a much-needed win for the Millionaires according to McNeill.

“It’s gets us back up. We can score again, we’ve been shutout. We’ve scored one goal in three games and that’s not like us. This (win) hopefully gets us out of our funk,” McNeill said.

As for the Wildcats, they also changed up their lineup for the game against Williamsport.

“We got a bunch of girls in who have been working really, really hard at practice and who deserved time. I would shuffle them all in, if I could, based on their attitude and the way they’ve been this year. They’re a great group of girls who were just unlucky. We played a team who’s forward is just phenomenal and her goals in her career are evident. When she’s on fire it’s hard to hold her back,” Central Mountain coach Ryan Veltri said.

Central Mountain’s lone goal of the night came in the closing minutes. Sophomore Halle Lodek, one of the various underclassmen who have a bright future in the program–found the back of the net to avoid the Wildcat shutout.

Regardless of the result, Veltri said Lodek’s goal meant a lot for his team.

“We take this one and we move forward” Veltri said. “That goal was about being competitive and seeing a game out. It was about character and not falling apart. I’m extremely proud of their efforts and finding a way to see this game out. Halle scored a fantastic goal.”

The five-score loss marks the Wildcats’ second in-a-row after defeating Penns Valley this past Saturday. For Veltri and the rest of the program it is all about continual improvement as a postseason for the Wildcats isn’t likely.

“They’re improving every game with the score lines we’ve had, and they are a lot of fun to be around. We have a young group getting a lot of time. We have a big underclass group. At the end of the day, we hope they’re smiling and enjoying their time, that’s when we get the best out of them,” Veltri said.

Williamsport 6, Central Mountain 1

Williamsport 3 3–6

CM 0 1–1

Goals scored: Williamsport, Kailee Helmrich 25:39; Williamsport, Helmrich 34:06; Williamsport, Sarina Beiter 37:56; Williamsport, Helmrich 46:09; Williamsport Helmrich 51:42; Williamsport, Helmrich 54:03; Central Mountain, Halle Lodek 73;10.

Team stats: (W, CM)

Shots: 11,2

Saves: 1, 5

Corners: 5, 3

Records: Williamsport 6-7-1, CM 2-10

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