Susquehannock might have opened a few eyes after its boys' soccer match with Central York on Monday evening.
The Warriors lost eight starters including YAIAA Division II Player of the Year and All-State selection Alex Rebich from last season's Division II championship squad. Rebich is currently playing for NCAA Division III York College.
Meanwhile, Central York returns eight starters to a team seeking its third-straight Division I crown and league tourney title.
Two teams heading in different directions, right? Maybe not.
Central York needed a goal from senior forward Igor Gomes five minutes into the first overtime period to escape with a hard-fought, 2-1, win at Susquehannock.
"They are a tough side," said Central York coach Frank Lenno, who thought this year's Warriors look better than last year's team. "They battled. They have some really strong players in the middle. That was good for us. We needed to battle some adversity."
Gomes scored the game-winner at the midway point of the first 10-minute overtime period off an assist by junior forward Pierce Miller. Miller had opened the scoring for Central York (3-1, 1-0 Division I) with an unassisted goal off a long ball with 8:34 before halftime.
"I just needed to touch the ball, that was it," Gomes said. "I just paid attention to what coach (Lenno) said. He said attack the ball. That's what I did."
That one-goal lead stood until Susquehannock (2-2, 2-0 Division II) finally broke through with 5:15 left in regulation behind a goal by senior midfielder Luke Thomas.
"Central is an excellent team, I think they probably are the best in the league coming in (to the season)," said Susquehannock coach Brett Maxwell. "They are a team that could do a lot of damage this year in districts and even states. They have a lot of talent. For us to be right there and even have some opportunities to win the game, I could not be happier."
The Warriors had numerous near-misses: When they weren't hitting crossbars or soaring shots just wide, they were stopped by Central York senior goalie Trevor Holderegger, who made eight saves. Susquehannock outshot Central, 9-7, and held a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.
"(Susquehannock) was very direct, everything's forward, and that put our backs under a lot of pressure," Lenno said. "Again, it was good for us. We need to be able to compete and have teams battle us all the time. We are going to see everybody's best. Every single game. (Central York's players) know it. Who is going to step up? Are we going to lie down or are we going to battle? That's what it is all about."
Central York 2, Susquehannock 1
First half — 1. CY, Pierce Miller (unassisted), 8:34.
Second half — 2. Sus, Luke Thomas (Cheikh Cisse), 5:15.
Overtime — 3. CY, Igor Gomes (Miller), 5:00.
Shots on goal — CY 7, Sus 9.
Corners — CY 0, Sus 3
Goalies — CY, Trevor Holderegger (8 saves). Sus, Aaron Bilbie (5 saves).
JV score — Susquehannock 1, Central York 0