Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — Just after scroring her fourth goal on Wednesday, Southeastern senior Sierra Mitten looked at one of her teammates and said, “It’s about time.”
If that doesn’t tell you how much Mitten loves to compete, there’s probably nothing that will.
Mitten had three goals left to score, ending the night with seven, in a 10-5 win over Northwest. Those seven tie the Panthers’ single-game record held by — you guessed it — Mitten.
“My team definitely backs me up a lot. They always assist me and they’re always there for me,” Mitten said. “Our first game of the season, we looked a little rough. We definitely came out tonight and improved.”
Mitten’s seven scores puts her above 80 goals in her career. The Ross County record currently sits at 105. As both a sophomore and a junior, Mitten netted 36 goals.
In other words, ending her career as the county’s all-time leading scorer isn’t out of the question.
But that wasn’t on Mitten’s mind after Wednesday’s victory. Instead, she was excited for three of her teammates who also tallied goals.
“I love when my other teammates score. I love assisting them and I feed off of their goals,” Mitten said. “I think, last season, Grace [Gumm] only scored one and she’s a bit more timid. So for her to score … I just love to see her score.”
Gumm, Eva Kingery and Paige Mustard all found the back of the net at some point while Northwest’s Elle Curtis did everything she could to keep her team in the game.
Curtis gave the Mohawks (1-2) the first lead of the evening with a goal just over two minutes into the action. Mitten quickly answered, 45 seconds later to be exact, finding nylon on a PK.
With 34:53 to go in the first half, Northwest went ahead 2-1, thanks to Olivia Chambers, before Mitten made it 2-2 with 31:54 left. At the 8:54 mark, Kingery slipped, regained her footing, beat a defender and then the goalkeeper to give Southeastern (1-1) its first lead of the night, 3-2.
Mitten scored again with 6:22 to go, before Paige Mustard made it a 5-2 ballgame — the eventual halftime score — with 2:02 remaining.
In the second half, Mitten had two chances to score but couldn’t convert. She quickly made up for those two misses with a goal at the 35:21 mark, before Gumm made it 7-2 with 29:59 left.
“I had two in a row where I completely choked,” Mitten said. “I kicked it either right to the goalie or hit the post. Those are just frustrating to me.”
Meanwhile, Curtis continued to play well, logging her second goal on a PK attempt with 26:28 left. Chambers then scored her second goal at the 18:39 mark before Curtis completed a hat trick with 12:28 left, quickly cutting the deficit to 7-5.
But not to be outdone, Mitten rapidly scored three additional times to produce the night’s final … answering the Mohawks’ attempt at a comeback with authority and sealing her team’s first win.
The Panthers are back in action on Saturday, facing South Charleston, while the Mohawks attempt to bounce back Tuesday, hosting Wheelersburg.
“We all get along and we work together. So we just help each other out,” Mitten said of her team. “This definitely helps our confidence. At times, our team does get down a little bit. So to have a win like this, it boosts all of us.”