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UNION SPRINGS — At halftime, Ava Mills received a framed certificate honoring her for scoring her 43rd career goal, a program record.

It was already out of date.

Mills scored twice in the first half for the Wolves — the 44th and 45th goals of her career — but the Bobcats spoiled the festivities with five unanswered goals in the second, as the Union Springs/Port Byron girls soccer team was topped by Lansing 6-2 at Union Springs High School Wednesday.

Mills, a senior, passed 1994 graduate Kim Brightman in a game last Friday against Trumansburg.

"She's been incredible for our program over the last two-plus seasons," Wolves coach Jim Hodges said of Mills. "She's just been a real spark plug for us on the attack. She's a one-of-a-kind attacking player. She knows what she needs to do, and she's usually pretty effective. She was effective in the first half — jumping on some of their mistakes and finishing — but the second half we lost sight of what was working and they took advantage of some of our lapses defensively."

Union Springs/Port Byron's Grace Perkins and Renee Park each recorded an assist. Hunter Pettit started in net and registered nine saves, while Danielle Waldron had three stops in relief.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead by netting a goal 1:36 into the contest, but the Wolves scored back-to-back goals to take the lead in the next 12 minutes.

Mills scored her first of the day when the Lansing goalie misplayed the ball and Mills put it into the empty net. Mills then scored again when Park's sharp-angle shot went off the goalie's gloves and near the goal line, where Mills buried it.

The Wolves went into halftime with a 2-1 advantage, but Hodges believed his team had chances before that to increase its lead.

"I thought there were times we had chances to go up 3-1 or 4-1 before the half and we just missed those opportunities, opportunities we normally capitalize on," Hodges said. "Those missed opportunities kept them with us, and then in the second half you could see their young kids get more and more confidence as the half went on.

"Tip your hat to them. They're a good group."

Lansing evened the score less than two minutes into the second half, and took the lead before the midway point of the frame. The Bobcats then tacked on three more insurance goals before the final horn.

Hodges believes his players were trying to do too much individually instead of working as a unit.

"I have such a competitive group of kids, and when they tied us and went up, I think everyone pressed too hard," Hodges said. "As a result of that, we lost focus on what had worked for us and they took advantage. They're such a well-coached team."

Still, Hodges saw the game as a learning experience for the Wolves, who have started the season 3-4.

"I've got to decompress afterwards, but I'll start to pick out some of the things we did well and some of the things we have to work on," Hodges said. "They know. As soon as I was talking with them when we were done, they understand that some of the things we're trying to teach in practice we have to plug into our game plan and use during games."

Union Springs/Port Byron looks to get back in the win column when it hosts Marathon for homecoming on Saturday. Hodges has an idea of what to expect from the Olympians.

"Marathon beat (Lansing) the first game of the season in overtime, so we know that we're going to have a challenge," Hodges said. "We know they're well-coached, and according to (the Lansing coach), they're big, strong and physical, which we match up well there. Those are some of our strengths. It should be a great contest."

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Sports writer Jeremy Houghtaling can be reached at 315-282-2256 or at jeremy.houghtaling@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenHough.

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