Coming off a week in which it won its first YAIAA boys' soccer championship, South Western was holding a two-goal lead in the second half and was in prime position to pick up a District 3 Class AAA tournament win.

However, Lampeter-Strasburg struck for three goals in the last 30 minutes of the match to defeat the Mustangs, 3-2, in the play-in game Saturday afternoon at South Western.

The win advances the Pioneers to the first round, where they will take on second-seeded Cumberland Valley on Tuesday in Mechanicsburg.

South Western (14-8) had taken a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Justin Zinneman pocketed his team-high 15th goal of the season off an assist from Scott Hess with 15:56 left in the opening half. Hess played a corner from the left all the way across the goal mouth to the far post, where Zinneman headed it home between L-S keeper Kyle Yeager and the right post.

Hess then doubled the lead with his ninth goal of the campaign off an assist from Andrew Slater with 36:13 left in the match.

Lampeter-Strasburg (12-7) sprung to life a little while later as Josh Hostetler scored off an assist from Matt Wright with 30:06 to go. Working on the right flank, Wright played a cross to Hostetler in the middle and he redirected it past Mustang keeper Adam Alton.

That same combo, except in reverse, teamed for the Pioneers' next goal as Hostetler played a corner to Wright, who soared above the crowd and headed it in to even the match with 28:39 left.

The hosts got the better of the play over the next 20 minutes, but came up empty on all of their shots in that time. The best chance came when Hess sent a direct kick from 25 yards out that Yeager deflected as it was headed for the top left corner with 17:49 remaining.

Nick Mummau put the visitors in front when he knocked home a rebound following a corner kick. Hostetler played the corner to Wright, who fired at Alton, but was denied. Mummau was in the right spot for the clean-up, though, and L-S led with 5:12 to go.

"This is the first time that we've came back from a deficit all year," L-S head coach Nick Stefanides said, "even a 1-0 deficit. We stayed composed and played our style, even after falling behind by two goals."

South Western’s Scott Hess leaps in a bid to control the ball during a duel with Lampeter-Strasburg’s Ben Noel during Saturday’s game at
South Western's Scott Hess leaps in a bid to control the ball during a duel with Lampeter-Strasburg's Ben Noel during Saturday's game at South Western High School. (The Evening Sun - Clare Becker)

South Western had one more good chance when David Penarrieta had an open look from 15 yards out, but Yeager denied it with 2:42 left.

"A 2-0 lead is dangerous to have. Sometimes you tend to let up," South Western head coach Clayton Wilcox said. "We let up a little, and they caught us."

Lampeter led in both shots on goal, 10-7, and corners, 8-4.

The loss ends the season for the Mustangs, but Wilcox was pleased with what his squad accomplished this season.

"It's disappointing to lose today. It hurts," he said. "but we'll look back in a few days and realize how well we did this season. We had an outstanding season and have a lot to be proud of."
  
L-S -- 0   3 -- 3
So. Western -- 1   1 -- 2

   First Half -- 1. SW, Justin Zinneman (Scott Hess), 15:56.
   Second Half -- 2. SW, Hess (Andrew Slater), 36:13; 3. L-S, Josh Hostetler (Matt Wright), 30:06; 4. L-S, Wright (Hostetler), 28:39; 5. L-S, Nick Mummau (Wright, Hostetler), 5:12.
   Shots On Goal -- L-S 10, SW 7.
   Corners -- L-S 8, SW 4.
   Goalies -- Lampeter-Strasburg, Kyle Yeager (5 saves); South Western, Adam Alton (7 saves).