Fresh off of winning back-to-back York-Adams boys soccer tournament titles, Gettysburg scored 95 seconds into its opening round district matchup with Palmyra and the Warriors cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Cougars in District 3 Class 3A tournament action Monday night at Warrior Stadium.
The win boosts third-seeded Gettysburg (17-2-1) into the quarterfinals, where it will face 11th-seeded Garden Spot, who upset sixth-seeded Hershey on penalty kicks, 9-8, after the sides were scoreless for 110 minutes of play. That match is slated for Thursday at a site and time to be announced. The Cougars finished 6-12-1.
Drew Wivell scored the early tally with a ball that he popped up and Palmyra keeper Derrick Ciesielka came too far off his line to play. The ball went through Ciesielka's hands and bounced into the net at 38:25 of the opening half.
"I tried to play a cross there and I mishit it," Wivell said of his 10th goal of the season. "It went really high in the air and the wind definitely affected it."
Gettysburg doubled its advantage with 26:08 to play until halftime when Wivell sent a cross from the right corner that freshman Logan Carbaugh headed into the right side of the net.
"We came out with a lot of energy, but every time they scored, they took a lot of wind out of our sails," Palmyra coach Andy Hull said. "We'd be playing well and then they'd score. We had to try to keep rebuilding it then."
Matt Yingling pocketed his 23rd goal of the season off an assist from Sal Pellerito with 12:39 to go until the break. Pellerito played a ball from center to left and Yingling ripped a shot to the right side of the net from 15 yards out.
"We played free and easy all year long, but it felt like we were more uptight tonight," Gettysburg co-coach Ian Hancock said. "Palmyra plays a tough schedule, so we told the guys to forget their record and not take them for granted."
The Cougars played a much better second half, playing the Warriors even, but were unable to find the back of the net as Gettysburg keeper Yanni Tassou made two of his three saves after intermission.
"Our play in the second half was a lot better than our play in the first," Hull said. "We made a few changes that allowed us to play them even after halftime."
If Gettysburg can win two more matches, the Warriors would return to the district championship match for the third consecutive season, though 2014 and 2015 came when they were 2A. A possible opponent there could top-seeded Lower Dauphin (21-0), which defeated Dover, 8-0, on Monday. The Warriors defeated the Eagles both times they faced them this season.
"Gettysburg isn't close to Lower Dauphin in talent," Hull, whose team lost to LD twice this season said. "They (Gettysburg) are disciplined and very technical, but they'll have to get creative to have a chance to beat them if they end up facing each other."
Hancock had high praise for LD, as well, "They might be the best team in the state, they have enough talent to win 4A."