LANDISVILLE >> Hempfield's boys soccer team has historically been a side that can protect the heck out of a lead.
In a District 3 Class AAA first-round playoff game Tuesday night at Hempfield, Chambersburg never gave the Black Knights that luxury.
The Trojans scored a goal in the 13th minute and held that 1-0 advantage until a late second goal finished off their opponent.
The 2-0 victory advances No. 9 seed Chambersburg (12-4-2) into a quarterfinal scrap with No. 17 Hershey (14-5-1), which ousted No. 1 seed Central Dauphin on penalty kicks Tuesday. The quarterfinal is Saturday at 5 p.m. at Cedar Crest H.S. in Lebanon.
"We're excited," Trojan first-year coach Corey Grove said. "We've only got three seniors and there was a sense or urgency from the guys to win for them."
Senior goalkeeper Chandler Schur, who made all five of his saves in the first half, said, "Coach said in districts we have to make our mark. Hopefully, this is a good start."
Chambersburg's first-half goal started with an attack down the right flank. Midfielder Nathan Maynard delivered a perfectly-weighted cross just over the defender on the opposite side. Rafael Bonilla showed good touch to bring the ball down to his feet and got a shot off.
The ball hit the far post.
However, it bounced back toward Bonilla and he was able to stab the rebound into the net as the defense closed on him.
"I thought the first one was in, but then I got a little lucky that I was able to get a second one off," Bonilla said.
The Trojans had stretches of possession in the first half, but so did the Black Knights (15-7). But when they did look dangerous, Schur was there to make a play. He made one quick reaction save on a close-in header by Colby Smith, and he came out to break up several other attacks.
"I think we started off a little hesitant while we were figuring out who their stronger players were," Schur said. "I think making those saves helped to pump us up, and in the second half we settled down and played better. It might not have been our best defensive game, but it's districts, so we'll take it."
Chambersburg nearly made it 2-0 before halftime. Hempfield had pushed up for a pair of corner kicks, but the second one was cleared outside to Bonilla. He and Erik Espinoza ended up 2-on-1 on keeper Ryan Shiner, but Espinoza's hard shot went right to him.
Black Knights coach Mark Ashley said, "Chambersburg played well, but with a one-goal game, I felt like it was only a matter of time until we tied it up, even though we don't like to play from behind. Against a good team like that, we couldn't get that tying goal."
For much of the second half, the Trojans were willing to absorb Hempfield's possession and then tighten up near the penalty area. And when they gained possession, several of the counterattacks showed promise.
Grove said, "I think we were a little anxious at times. We can usually possess the ball at our feet better than that, but tonight we were a little sloppy. We can play better."
Ashley said, "They have some good individual talent, but they do play well off each other. I was pleased with our defense, because when we had to push forward, our guys were able to hold them off and get it back up the field."
Although Hempfield had more possession, it managed only five shots in the second half, and none were on frame.
Grove said, "Their forwards were a challenge and they had good size. We wanted to play them physical, and we did, but we kept fouling and giving free kicks. We know they're good at set pieces, so we were fortunate they didn't convert one."
At the other end, Espinoza nearly doubled the lead after Bonilla dropped a pass to him, but his wicked shot clanged off the crossbar.
The dagger came with 3:18 left.
The Trojans won a free kick and sent the ball into the box. It was cleared a short distance right to Maynard, who tapped it once and let fly a burner that gave Shiner no chance.
"We were fighting hard and we needed a cushion," Maynard said. "I could see the opening in the goal. We had worked on finishing at practice this week, so I guess that helped."
It helped Chambersburg live for at least another round.
Chambersburg 2, Hempfield 0
First half — (C) Rafael Bonilla, asst. Nathan Maynard, 13th minute
Second half — (C) Maynard, 77th.
Shots — Chbg 9, Hemp 12; Shots on goal — Chbg 5, Hemp 5; Corner kicks — Chbg 3, Hemp 7; Saves — Chbg 5 (Chandler Schur), Hemp 3 (Ryan Shiner); Fouls — Chbg 14, Hemp 9; Offsides — Chbg 1, Hemp 1.