NEW KINGSTOWN >> It's fair to say that Bryson Robinson had his best game of the season in net for Greencastle-Antrim's boys soccer team on Tuesday night.
Robinson played like a seasoned veteran in a District 3 Class AAA first-round playoff game against the No. 2 Cumberland Valley Eagles. He kept his aggressive style, turning down chance after chance for the Eagles.
But it simply wasn't enough. With just under 12 minutes to play, Stephen Thompson snuck a goal past Robinson on a direct kick, and Cumberland Valley went on to claim a 2-0 victory.
"He made three outstanding saves just to keep it 0-0," Greencastle coach Scott Gelsinger said. "We felt like that was definitely the best game that he played all year, and it came at the right time. That first goal on the direct kick, the boy just hit a super shot. There was nothing he could do about that."
Although Robinson finished with only four saves for the Blue Devils (14-7), he had countless other touches and stops to thwart Cumberland Valley (16-2-1).
"Definitely in the first half, he just stopped all of the chances that we had," Thompson said. "We just could not get it by him."
Robinson's first save of the night came on the best Eagles' chance to that point. Midway through the first half, there was a midfield breakdown for the Blue Devils, and it was off to the races for CV's Christian Valen. But Robinson wasn't having any of it, as he came out to challenge Valen and made the stop.
"I wanted to trust my defense," Robinson said. "I knew they had my back, and after that one save, I really got some confidence."
Cumberland Valley finally broke through with 11:57 to go. Thompson set up a direct kick just outside the 18, and he sent a shot to the top right corner of the net. Robinson couldn't have stopped it with arms the length of Michael Jordan's in "Space Jam."
"Me and (Josiah Malinich) were talking about it, and I realized the goalie wasn't really guarding the near post," Thompson said. "He was pretty far wide, so I just hit it over the wall, and it dipped in. It was really exciting. Last year, we got knocked out in the first round, and I did not want that to happen again."
Robinson wasn't the only Blue Devil in the backfield to have an impressive evening. Greencastle finished with four defensive saves, and also go a hard blocked shot from Ryan Yoder and a fine clear by Damian Sherrill to avoid a CV corner kick.
"Their goalie and their defense had a great game," Eagles coach Matt Billman said. "They got a lot of guys around the ball, and we needed to attack them before they got set on 'D.' I think that's what was continually amped up in the second half, and we were able to get behind them because we played faster than they were defending."
Robinson said, "I thought our defense played really well. There was a lot of run-ins, but we stepped to the ball. I came up with some big saves, and the defense helped me out with some big stops. I'm happy with how we played."
With the victory, Cumberland Valley will face either Elizabethtown or Dallastown on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Cumberland Valley 2 Greencastle 0
Second half — (CV) Stephen Thompson, direct kick, 69th min., (CV) Holden Zimmerman, asst. Sebastian Kelly, 77th.
Shots — GA 3, CV 16; Corner kicks — GA 2, CV 5; Saves — GA 4 (Bryson Robinson), CV 1 (Max Zambetti).