Strong second half propels MT over the Warriors

By on April 6, 2016

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Holding a lead against Lancaster-Lebanon League powerhouse Manheim Township was nothing new for the Warwick boys.

A year ago, the Warriors led 6-2 before, as coach Wayne Hummer recalls, “they just ran out of gas.”

On Monday, when junior midfielder Evan Crawford found the back of the net with 5:42 left in the first half, the Warriors were in front 4-2.

“I don’t know anybody that’s not feeling good about the team when you’re up 4-2,” Hummer said.

Unfortunately for the red and black, the Blue Streaks responded with a game-ending 12-0 run, fueled by four goals apiece from Sean Curcio and Reagan Ketchum, and topped the Warriors 14-4 in the rain in an L-L game in Neffsville.

It was the first loss of the season for Warwick (1-1 L-L, 3-1 overall).

Afterward, Hummer saw plenty of positives from the game for his Warriors.

“They’re frustrated with themselves because they thought in that second half, we could definitely do more, and that’s good because they understand they’ve got a lot of potential,” Hummer said.”This isn’t fatal by any stretch of the imagination. It’s fire, it’s fuel for later in the season and we’re going to work our tails off to see if we can get into a league (playoff) game and see if we can set up a rematch.”

They worked their tails off in the first half against the reigning Section, League and District Three champion Blue Streaks (2-0 L-L, 4-0 overall). Trailing just 2-1 after one, getting a first-quarter goal by Allen Wenger, the WHS boys scored three unanswered in the second. Connor Brechbill scored back-to-back just two minutes apart, putting Warwick up 3-2 with 8:40 to go in the half, and then Crawford’s goal made it 4-2. Allen Wenger, Tyler Bogda and Connor Kilgore had assists.

Certainly, certainly Austin Barto’s proficiency on face-offs against Blue Streak star Aaron Kager played a key role in that lead.

“Austin Barto looked really good at face-offs today,” Hummer said. “I know what (Kager) does out there, he does it very, very well, and I was very impressed with Austin to go in there undaunted and really come at him.”

At that point, trailing by two, the Streaks really came at Warwick, getting one back on a tally by Curcio and then tying it 4-4 when Dylan Speitel connected with 2:28 left in the half.

It remained deadlocked at recess, but Warwick opened the second half in a two-man short-handed situation, and the Streaks capitalized, scoring with just :18 elapsed to grab a lead they never lost.

“The guys were up for the game, they were excited about it,” Hummer said, “and I think that two men down to start the half took a lot of wind out of our sails.”

George Hetrick finished with two goals for MT, as the Streaks outscored Warwick 5-0 in the third and grabbed a commanding 9-4 lead at period’s end.

“They made a lot of adjustments on playing our two-man game,” Hummer said. “We were running a pick and then we’d do a pass-back or we’d take the ball underneath, whichever look came to us, and they did a good job of basically getting underneath the pick and staying at home.”

For the game, MT keeper Caton Johnson had seven saves, including a second-half stop on Cole Lownsbery. Later, Josh Croyle shot high over the net. Steven Lipko had 12 stops for the Warriors.

But the Blue Streaks put it away with five goals in the final 12 minutes.

“Man, they’ve got a ton of shooters,” Hummer said. “You can see it.”

Last Thursday, senior midfielder Allen Wenger collected three goals and three assists to lead the Warriors in a 12-4 L-L win over Cedar Crest at Grosh Field in Lititz.

In the third quarter, senior Mark Howland scored both of his goals, while Evan Crawford, Connor Brechbill, and Luke Hirtzel also found the back of the net, as Warwick outscored the Falcons 5-0 to break open a 5-2 lead at the half.

Crawford and Josh Croyle each finished with two tallies, Cole Lownsbery added one and Ben Loose chipped in with a team-high four assists, as Warwick built a 30-28 edge in shots for the game.

Brechbill and Connor Kilgore each had a helper in front of senior keeper Steven Lipko, who had 12 saves to help keep the Falcons at bay.

Mike Weaver paced Cedar Crest with three goals, and his tally with 9:00 left in the second quarter brought his team within one, 3-2.

Less than three minutes later, Wenger scored his third of the game and it was never close again.

The Warriors were back in action on Saturday, capitalizing on balanced scoring to defeat Twin Valley 11-9 in a non-league game in Lititz.

Croyle, Brechbill and Crawford each connected twice, and Loose, Kilgore, Hirtzel, Tyler Bogda and Wenger all got on the scoresheet, giving the Warwick boys eight different goal-scorers.

Brechbill and Adam Dodds added helpers.

The Raiders, led by Alex Rhoads and Brandon Hemmerle with three goals apiece, took a 4-3 lead at the half. But Warwick erupted following the break, outscoring TV 8-5 to earn the win.

The Warriors held a 36-22 advantage in shots, and Lipko had five saves between the pipes.

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