Warriors, Barons suffer close Section lossesBoys’ Soccer
It was a game of inches for the Warwick boys soccer team on Tuesday night.
Needing a victory over first-place Hempfield to keep its hopes alive in the Section One title race, the Warriors had several close calls as they tried to erase a one-goal halftime deficit.
In the end, though, the Black Knights were able to lock up the Section championship by clinging to a 1-0 victory over Warwick in a key showdown in Landisville.
Entering play, the Warwick boys (11-2-2 L-L, 12-3-2 overall) needed to beat Hempfield (14-1 L-L) and Manheim Township in their final two games, in addition to getting a McCaskey win over the Black Knights on Thursday, in order to take home the crown.
Both teams, though, have qualified for the L-L League playoffs which get underway next Tuesday, Oct. 18 and could face each other again down the road.
On Tuesday, Hempfield scored the game’s only goal in the opening stanza, as Kyle Bitterman deposited the ball into the lower left corner on a penalty kick with 21:46 remaining in the half. That was part of a 4-0 shot advantage which the Black Knights held in the opening 40 minutes.
But Warwick turned the tables in the second half and outplayed the Knights while building a 6-1 edge in shots. Early, Asher Klahold pushed the ball to Ryan Bertrando inside the circle, and it was deflected just wide right.
Then Shawn Mearig nearly got the equalizer when he lofted a ball into the box on a restart with 19:00 to go. Hempfield keeper Billy Heavner got his hands on the ball, but couldn’t control and it trickled barely wide right.
Heavner also jumped on a shot by Matt Engle from 30 yards out on the goal line with 7:28 left to preserve his team’s one-goal lead.
Still, the Warriors continued to push the action and their final opportunity came from Jonathan Wenger, whose head ball glanced off the crossbar as time expired.
Warwick also four corner kicks, all in the second half, and Tanner Biemesderfer finished with three saves between the pipes.
Elsewhere, Manheim Central was looking to wrap up the Section Three crown at Garden Spot on Tuesday night. But the Spartans got first-half goals from Chad Taylor and Jacob Dissinger in the first 11:46 and held on for a 2-0 victory in New Holland.
With the win, GS (11-2-1 L-L, 34 points) leapfrogged the Barons (11-2-0 L-L, 33 points) for first place. But while the Spartans end the regular season vs. Lebanon, Central still controls its own destiny with two games remaining against Donegal and ELCO.
In a tightly-played game, GS held a 10-7 edge in shots, but the Barons had a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks. Nick Johnston finished with four saves in goal for MC.
Last Friday, Bertrando had two goals and an assist to lead the Warriors, who took a 3-0 lead at the half and beat Cedar Crest 4-0.
Wenger, Klahold and Bertrando all found the back of the net in the first half, and then Bertrando added an insurance tally in the second. Warwick outshot Crest 20-6.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 5, Warwick suffered a damaging blow when they played to a 2-2 tie against Penn Manor. Trailing 2-1 at the break, Warwick pulled even on Derek Adams’ goal with just 3:03 to go, but they couldn’t quite get the game-winner in two OT periods.
Bertrando scored for Warwick in the first.
Elsewhere, Bryant Myer and Evan Stauffer scored second-half goals as the Barons overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit to defeat Lampeter-Strasburg last Saturday.
Josh Kaiser scored in the opening half to keep the Central boys within one, and then Manheim Central kept L-S off the scoreboard in the second half. The Barons outshot the Pioneers 16-13 and Nick Johnston came up with three saves in goal.
Last Friday, Myer scored three goals and the Barons held on a for a tough 4-3 win over Lebanon in Manheim.
Leading 2-1 at the half, the Barons got goals from Kaiser and Myer just five minutes apart to go ahead 4-1 with 34:00 left. The Barons outshot the Cedars by a 21-7 margin and held a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Cedars, though, scored twice in the game’s final eight minutes to make it interesting, but keeper Austin Hatch finished with three saves and Central held on. More SOCCER, page B-8