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Knights pull even with Warwick atop Section
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
When Asher Klahold hit the right post in the first half, it turned the tide for Warwick.
It wasn’t as clear when that happened for Hempfield, but the momentum definitely changed in their favor in the second half.
The Black Knights scored three goals within a span of just 6:55, as they erased a 1-0 halftime deficit and defeated the Warriors 3-1 in a battle of Section One heavyweights at Joseph Grosh Field in Lititz on Monday night.
The victory pulled Hempfield (6-1 L-L) even with the Warwick boys (6-1 L-L, 7-2 overall) atop the Section standings.
"Obviously, we let it slip away, and where we could have focused on the negative here (in a post-game huddle with the players), we tried to learn from it," Warwick coach Dale Stoltzfus said. "We gave up three goals in the second half, we didn’t play like we wanted to. But we have a big game Wednesday (against Manheim Township). We have to have a good practice (Tuesday) to get ready for Township and we’re still tied for first."
At halftime, the Warriors were looking like they might take a two-game lead on Hempfield while outplaying the Black Knights and capitalizing on Klahold’s team-leading sixth goal of the season.
Although the Hempfield boys pressed the action in the game’s opening minutes, Klahold gave Warwick its first golden scoring chance when he beat HHS keeper Billy Heavner, but nailed the post with 21:00 left in the half. Armin Efendic got the rebound, but Heavner was equal to the task.
Momentarily, at least.
Less than five minutes later, Klahold received the ball in the middle of the field, created some space and blasted a shot into the left corner of the net with 16:32 remaining.
"It was a very nice goal by Asher, but we didn’t get very many other good opportunities," Stoltzfus said. "Credit Hempfield. They did a nice job shutting us down."
Warwick outshot the Knights 6-3 in the opening 40 minutes, including a header by Chase Henry which went high over the crossbar, but it remained 1-0 at the half.
Senior keeper Tanner Biemesderfer preserved that lead with a couple of strong saves early in the second, including diving to his left to rob Hempfield senior Kyle Bitterman on a breakaway with just over 20:00 to go.
Finally, though, Goldsmith scored the first of his two goals with 17:00 left, depositing the ball into the right corner of the net to pull Hempfield even, 1-1.
"We played a very good soccer game for the opening 45 to 50 minutes, and then I thought it started getting into (a situation) where we were creating some dumb fouls which then led to their first goal," Stoltzfus said. "And then I thought we lost some of our team shape, some of our composure, and we were giving the ball away. I felt we outworked Hempfield in the first half. I felt they outworked us in the second half."
Indeed, the Knights continued to make things happen and took advantage of a Warwick turnover near midfield a couple of minutes later. When the Warriors were unable to clear the ball in front of the net, Goldsmith finished it for the go-ahead goal with 14:37 remaining.
"The ball ended up down here, but to me it was a possession we lost in (midfield) where we clearly had it, then lost possession, and Hempfield countered quickly and very well," Stoltzfus said. "Then the third one as well, I felt like we gave the ball away and they attacked quickly and scored again. We have to give Hempfield credit. They finished some of the opportunities they created by forcing the pressure."
It was Bitterman who finished on the Black Knights’ third goal, scoring top shelf from about 30 yards out to make it 3-1 with 10:05 to go in the second half.
Overall, Hempfield had a 7-6 edge in shots in the second half and they finished the game holding a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. The Warriors earned their final corner kick opportunity in the last 58 seconds, but they were unable to convert.
Heavner finished with 11 saves, while Biemesderfer had seven stops for Warwick.
In other action, Klahold and Sandkuhler scored two goals apiece to lead the Warriors in a 7-0 Section One whitewashing of Cedar Crest last Friday in Cornwall.
Warwick outshot the Falcons 16-6 and took command with three goals in a span of just 1:24 in the opening half. Bertrando, who chipped in with two assists in the game, got the scoring started at the 26:40 mark, and then Klahold scored back-to-back to boost Warwick to a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Sandkuhler scored both of his goals in the second half, and then Shawn Mearig and Robbie Kelley also connected. Chase Henry finished with two assists, while Andrew Martin, Mearig and Austin Olenhouse also contributed helpers.
Biemesderfer (4) and Kyle Maguire (2) combined to make six stops between the pipes.
Last Wednesday, Sept. 14, Jonathan Wenger’s first-half goal, with an assist from Ryan Bertrando, was all the Warriors needed in a 4-0 shutout of back-yard rival Ephrata in a Section One-Two crossover.
Asher Klahold finished with a goal and two assists, while Matt Engle and Derek Adams also found the back of the net, as Warwick broke open a 1-0 game at halftime. Wyatt May chipped in with a helper on Klahold’s tally.
The Warwick boys dominated the play, outshooting the Mounts 18-1 and building an 11-0 edge in corner kicks. Tanner Biemesderfer saved the only shot he faced while teaming up with Kyle Maguire for the shutout in goal. More SHOWDOWN, page B-6