Greencastle-Antrim boys soccer coach Scott Gelsinger summed up Lower Dauphin's defense pretty perfectly:
"They just don't give up goals," he said.
In 23 games, the Falcons have allowed just five goals and posted their sixth straight shutout Thursday night with a 4-0 victory over G-A in the District 3 Class 3A quarterfinals.
"I think it's just their work rate," LD coach Gerry Lynch said. "Every time the ball goes back there, they're just in tune with what's going on, and they read the game very well. Their work rate is just phenomenal. I can't really explain - they just click."
The chemistry for Lower Dauphin (23-0), which is ranked No. 3 in the state, was obvious Thursday - it looked as if the Falcons were playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the Blue Devils (14-6).
Early on, Greencastle fared well. Although the Falcons controlled possession, G-A's defense allowed just one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes of play.
"We were trying to play a defensive game," G-A's Brandon Stuhler said. "Our hope was to get it into PKs and try to win it from there."
The plan didn't quite work, though. Midway through the first half, Lower Dauphin broke through with a sneaky shot from Jackson Becher that rocketed into the back of the net. Ten minutes later, Becher added another goal.
"Early on, we tried to hold them down," Gelsinger said. "But against a good team, it's hard to do that the whole game because they're going to find a way to score. After they scored the second one, we tried to push up and play more offense."
But the speed and passing precision of Lower Dauphin's midfield made it impossible for G-A to gain any kind of momentum. The Blue Devils finished with just two shots on goal, and Ryan Becher added a pair of second-half goals to set the final score. Greencastle played LD three times this season and all three were 4-0 defeats.
"We feel pretty good going into next year, because we're returning a lot of people," Stuhler said. "We just have to work harder, and maybe we can play this team again next year."