The Chambersburg boys soccer team fell in the first round of the District 3 Class 4A tournament to Ephrata, 2-1, decided in penalty kicks. Video by Lindsey Smith
It's possible that a penalty kick shootout may be the cruelest way to lose an athletic contest.
You'll get plenty of affirmatives from the Chambersburg boys soccer team, which had its season ended in that fashion Tuesday night at Trojan Stadium.
The Ephrata Mountaineers, who were outplayed for most of the game, made the most of the PK shootout, connecting on all four of their chances to win the shootout 4-2 and break a 1-1 deadlock in a District 3 Class 4A first-round game.
The Trojans bow out with a 10-5-3 record. Ephrata (15-4-1) will face Hempfield in a quarterfinal game Saturday.
"Does the better team always win in soccer?" asked Mounties coach Rob Deininger. "No. But we had the better of the penalty kicks. It's a tough way to win or lose."
Chambersburg held distinct advantages in the statistics, not that those mattered. The Trojans had more shots (20-9), more shots on goal (6-5) and more corner kicks (8-0).
"We just couldn't put another one in," Trojan coach Corey Grove said. "We were the better team and we had more good opportunities, but when you get to PKs, anything can happen."
In the shootout, Chambersburg went first and Nathan Maynard's shot was saved by Ephrata keeper Dave Petrushev. The Trojans' second effort, from Rafael Bonilla, went over the crossbar. Rene Quintanilla and Griffin Redding did score on their shots.
Meanwhile, the Mounties went 4-for-4 on shots by Gabe Sensenig, Chris Hershberger, Andrey Petrushev and, finally, J.T. Truskey, which clinched it.
The Trojans had only four shots in the first half, but Grove made an adjustment, switching Maynard to attacking midfielder and dropping Quintanilla back to defensive mid. It generated seven shots in the second half and nine more in overtime.
However, Ephrata opened the scoring when A.J. Morales hit a direct kick from about 35 yards out into the far upper 90.
It took only 35 seconds for Chambersburg to retaliate. Bonilla rounded the defense on the right side and his shot found the side netting on the left side.
The Mounties had two other good chances. Chambersburg keeper Jacob Dougal raced out to smother a ball on the foot of Sensenig, and Morales hit another free kick that Dougal tipped of the post.
The Trojans had a flurry of shots toward the end of regulation, but Dave Patrushev tipped one away. In the second OT, Maynard was tackled at the edge of the box, but a free kick was awarded outside. And Bonilla had a 1-on-1 with 2:10 left, but Patrushev caught his attempt at lifting a ball over his head.
Deininger said, "They have some skilled and talented players up top, but we had a good night on defense. They had some opportunities and we were holding on."
Maynard said, "We had our chances, but just couldn't finish them the way we did the rest of the year. We didn't push enough - we needed to have more urgency."