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Although it might have been the final time Palmyra donned its home white uniforms, but A.J. Hull's driven outfit didn't perform like a team content to play out the proverbial string.

Instead, Hull's Cougars played as if they still have a chance to qualify for the District 3 Class AA boys' soccer tournament.

And perhaps they do.

Receiving goals from Alex Hoffsmith, Sean Bordner and Brenden Mellin, Hull's Cougars took a bite out of Bishop McDevitt's postseason chances by toppling the Crusaders, 3-1, in a Mid-Penn Keystone match Thursday night at In The Net.

Tanner Yaw added seven saves for a Palmyra side (6-10-1, 4-8-1) that began senior night sitting 22nd in the Class AA power rankings.

Ominous? No doubt — since only the top 18 advance.

Toma Nichik spoiled Yaw's shutout bid late by bagging a penalty kick for Terence Maloney's Crusaders (6-10-1, 5-7-1), who were clinging to the No. 18 spot when the 80-minute exercise kicked off.

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McDevitt, which watched stopper David Weidman go off early with an ankle injury, also picked up nine stops from keeper Johnny Balint.

"The nice thing is we played these guys earlier in the season, so we knew what their tendencies were and we looked to exploit those," Hull admitted. "Runs out wide. Trying to win 50-50 balls in the midfield. Looking to connect with our midfielders and just taking chances, taking risks.

"At this point in the season, what do we have to lose? Right now, we're sitting at 22 and they're sitting at 18, so this certainly would knock them out. I don't think it's gonna get us in; I think we still have to do our work (Monday) against CD East. But it's certainly a good bounce-back from losing to Susquehanna Township (earlier this week) and just a good result overall for our seniors."

Dominant throughout the opening half yet pestered by near-misses — Bordner tattooed the crossbar in the 29th — Hull's Cougars finally cashed in with a little more than seven minutes to go when a zig-zagging Hoffsmith skipped through the final third before slotting a ball past Balint.

"He has done that other times in the season, (but) missed on the opportunity," Hull recalled. "We were just fortunate that it went in. The kid's a hard worker. And I think when he gets it going, it lifts the rest of the team up."

Bordner's score nearly eight minutes into the second half — off a nice look from the right end line by John Jeffrey — upped the Palmyra lead to 2-0.

Mellin, who popped the left upright early in the second half, added goal No. 3 when his ball from the right flank carried Balint over the goal line.

"Their work rate was higher, that was the bottom line," Maloney said. "When they went up 3-0, that's when we began to play. Frustrating, because this was a key game. Now Saturday (at home against Mechanicsburg), we have to win."

So must Palmyra.

"It gives us hope," Hull said. "I think some of the guys were starting to get to the point, 'Where do we go from here? What are our chances?' I think the fact that it was senior night kind of gave them a boost."

Palmyra 3, Bishop McDevitt 1

Bishop McDevitt01—1Palmyra12—3

First half: 1. P, Alex Hoffsmith, 32:53.

Second Half: 2. P, Sean Bordner (John Jeffrey), 47:47. 3. Brenden Mellin, 52:33. 4. BM, Toma Nichik (PK), 72:28.

Shots: BM, 9. P, 19.

Corners: BM, 2. P, 7.

Saves: BM, Johnny Balint (9 saves), Gabe Keller (0 saves). P, Tanner Yaw (7 saves).

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