By Ryan Decker
INWOOD - Both Elkins and Musselman went into Saturday's game coming off exciting season openers, which included a lot of second-half scoring.
The array of goals didn't carry over to Saturday for either team as the Applemen outlasted the Tigers in a physical 2-0 victory.
Musselman (1-1) scored its first goal of the game with time winding down in the first half.
Madison LaPole set up for and took the Applemen corner kick.
As the trailer on the play, Millie Menendez waited for a possible ball deflection to come her way. That's exactly what happened.
Off the backs of two defenders, the ball rolled right to Menendez, who toed a lofty shot over the players in front of her, past the keeper and into the net.
Musselman took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Both teams had good opportunities to score in the early going. However, the defense and keepers for each team held their ground.
Eighteen minutes into play, the Elkins forwards took multiple shots within 15 feet of the goal. However, they could not capitalize as Musselman keeper Richelle Nelson blocked one shot, while defenders blocked two other attempts and cleared the ball.
The Tigers gave the Applemen no time to recover and were quickly back on the attack.
Olivia Underwood got even closer to the net, but her soft shot kicked off the right post and the loose ball was again cleared by the Applemen back line.
Five minutes later, Musselman took its first attempt at trying to score.
A Musselman penalty kick sailed towards the goal, and Kelly Millner had a good beat on the kick. Tiger keeper Charlie George also looked to get the ball.
Trying to meet the ball as soon as it hit the ground, the two players collided and the ball rolled away as Musselman could not cash in on its good opportunity.
Another close Elkins ball was just off target as Hailea Harper's shot hit the post. The Tigers had back-to-back corner kicks after that, neither resulting in a goal.
"We had a lot of chances early on in the game and just didn't finish some shots," Elkins coach Scott Cutright said. "Unfortunately, three shots go off the post. We just need to finish the ball and put the ball in the back of the net."
Two minutes out of the break, Musselman advanced the ball far up field to Kelly Millner, who was outnumbered by a pair of Elkins defenders.
Millner beat both defenders to the ball, dribbled once, spun and fired. The ball flew past the Elkins keeper, putting Musselman ahead 2-0
Elkins will host Liberty at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a Big 10 game.