Avery Wenger, Brandon Stuhler and Jared Rohrbaugh all scored goals in Greencastle-Antrim's 3-0 victory over West York in the first round of District 3 Class 3A playoffs. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
West York coach Brent Duffy had seen Greencastle-Antrim play, so he knew what kind of game his Bulldogs were in for Monday night.
What he didn't know was that the Blue Devils had two things working in their favor that Duffy couldn't have predicted.
The combination of extra incentive and what appeared to be an advantage in speed and skills led to a 3-0 Greencastle victory in a District 3 Class 3A first-round boys soccer game at Kaley Field.
The Bulldogs finish with an 11-6 record. The Blue Devils (14-6), the No. 8 seed, will face No. 1 Lower Dauphin (21-0) for the third time this season Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup at Seibert Park in Camp Hill at 5 p.m.
In G-A's last game, senior Luke Herman had been ejected for a handball foul in the penalty area, a call that seemed incredibly unjust to his teammates. It caused him to have to sit out Monday's game.
"With him being a senior, we had to get him another game," Blue Devil defender Ben Freeman said.
Forward Brandon Stuhler said, "We felt bad that Luke had to miss this for that red card."
The other factor was a boisterous student section the the Greencastle players appreciated.
Freeman said, "We definitely fed off them."
The result was a Blue Devil team that controlled play early when it had the wind at its back, and never relinquished it.
Duffy said, "One of the things we've struggled with is an athletic team that runs right at us, and that's what I saw when I watched them play. With us being against the wind in the first half, we wanted to play well the first 20 minutes, but Greencastle never let us get our feet. Credit to their coach - he had them ready."
It took only 8:15 for Greencastle to put a number on the board. Josh Kline took a corner kick and placed it perfectly over the head of goalkeeper Cameron Goodling and Avery Wenger's header deflected off a defender and into the net.
"The kids came out really fired up, and played hard from the start," G-A coach Scott Gelsinger said. "And the defense didn't let West York turn with the ball, so they didn't get many chances."
But G-A also missed a couple of chances that could have put the game away earlier. Kline was pushed in the box, but Goodling made a nice play to save the resulting penalty kick. As the first half ended, Kaleb Hurley headed the ball to the far post and somehow two Blue Devils in the vicinity couldn't knock it in.
"We talked at halftime about playing into the wind in the second half, but then the wind died down," Gelsinger said.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, Brandon Stuhler headed in another corner by Kline to make it 2-0, then Stuhler had a breakaway and passed neatly to teammate Jared Rohrbaugh for the final tally midway through the latter half.
Stuhler said, "We played well. We moved the ball and played really good defense."
The defense of Freeman, Ian Gelsinger, Wenger, Jason Freeman and Joe Eberhardt helped hold West York to just five shots and keeper Bryson Robinson had to make only two routine saves for a shutout.