If you've done a double take when looking in goal at Metea Valley this spring, it's not surprising.
Two-time all-stater and three-year starter Megan Geldernick graduated and is now playing at Ohio State. Her absence has given senior Chauntelle Johnson an opportunity to play regularly.
Johnson continued her strong start, only surrendering a late goal in a 3-1 victory over rival Neuqua Valley in Tuesday's Upstate Eight Valley match.
"We're playing well and the back line did a great job in getting the ball up and away and out," she said. "We didn't want them to get any through balls. We knew one of their girls would always make a run across the goal so we made sure we paid attention to that and just kept the ball away from the goal as much as possible."
Johnson finished with 10 saves.
Metea Valley (3-1-1, 2-0-1) went ahead 1-0 in the 40th minute when freshman Jade Eriksen-Russo scored off a corner kick from fellow ninth grader Nicki Hernandez.
"She took just an amazing corner," Eriksen-Russo said. "I didn't have to do too much. It knocked off a couple people and then I saw the opportunity and just had to tap it in."
The Mustangs have been striving to really jump on teams early but took nearly 40 minutes to finally break into the scoring column.
"Our goal was to score in the first 10 minutes, but that didn't happen," Eriksen-Russo said. "But we didn't give up. We kept pushing and then we got one. It's always nice to get a lead before halftime."
Senior Tyler Proszowski joined in on the fun in the second half, extending the Mustangs' lead to 2-0 in the 43rd minute on a 25-yard connection.
She couldn't have struck the ball any more perfectly, lofting it out of the reach of Neuqua Valley junior goalkeeper Hannah Parrish.
"The defender was giving me a lot more space than I expected," Proszowski said. "I decided to just go for the shot and coach (Pat Feulner) was even surprised I took it. The goalie yelled that it was over (the goal) but then my teammates were rushing me because it went in. I really couldn't believe it."
Neuqua Valley (0-3-2, 0-1-0) cut its deficit in half with 13:11 remaining on a tally from junior Kylie Czeriwniski but couldn't get that all-important equalizer.
It would be a moot point once the Mustangs extended their lead to 3-1 as Proszowski once again connected, this time with 1:18 remaining.
"Things are starting to come together for us a little bit, and I don't think we're as good as we can be," Feulner said. "We're still going to get better. We moved the ball around pretty well and took advantage of what they gave us."
The Wildcats remain winless, although all their matches have been decided by one goal.
"We're not generating any offense and not getting any quality shots inside the box," Wildcats coach Joe Moreau said. "They're all coming from 25-30 yards away and unless it's a strike in the perfect spot, we aren't going to get any goals."