A goal right before halftime can be very uplifting for the team that nets it — and as just as deflating for the team that concedes it.
Susquehannock appeared headed to the break in a scoreless tie with Gettysburg before Matt Yingling banged home a goal with 57 seconds to play in the opening half. The visitors would never relinquish that lead, earning a 3-0 victory in YAIAA Division II boys' soccer action Thursday night at Robert Lau Memorial Field in Glen Rock.
"The goal right before the half was a back-breaker for us," Susquehannock head coach Brett Maxwell said. "It killed the momentum that I felt we had going into the half."
Gettysburg co-head coach Ian Hancock agreed.
"That goal forced them to make some slight adjustments in the second half that helped to open things up for us a little more," Hancock said.
The victory clinches at least a tie for the division title for Gettysburg. A win or tie in either of the Warriors' remaining matches (at Eastern York, vs. Kennard-Dale) would give them the outright crown.
The first half saw Gettysburg midfielder Drew Wivell unleash a trio of shots that were all denied by Susquehannock keeper Aaron Bilbie. Those saves came with 32:12, 13:51 and 9:52 to play in the opening half.
On the goal, Adam Yingling ripped a shot from 20 yards out that was denied by Bilbie. The keeper recovered to deny Drew Riggle's short-range try, but Bilbie was unable to rise off the turf quick enough to deny Matt Yingling.
Bilbie kept the deficit at one goal when he stopped Matt Yingling with 32:04 left in the match.
Gettysburg (14-0, 10-0) doubled its lead when Adam Yingling had a go at the goal from 20 yards out on the left flank. The ball hit right in front of Bilbie before skipping by him with 25:57 left. Yingling was assisted by his brother, Matt.
Then Adam Yingling put the game out of reach with a magnificent shot from 20 yards out that navigated by multiple players into the box before finding the right side of the net with 21:17 left. Matt Yingling also assisted on that one.
"I had the ball out on the corner of the box. Took a touch to set it up and let it go," Adam said. "That was one of the better goals that I've ever scored."
Susquehannock (9-5, 8-2) was the eighth straight shutout victim for Gettysburg, which has now outscored its opponents this season, 60-4.
"Our guys have invested completely in the defensive end of the field," Hancock said. "Brandon Smith, who graduated last year, had that mentality and we asked all our guys to do that this year. They've really bought into it."
Gettysburg had a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal and a 5-2 edge in corners.
First half — 1. Get, Matt Yingling (Drew Riggle, Adam Yingling), 0:57.
Second half — 2. Get, A. Yingling (M. Yingling), 25:57. 3. Get, A. Yingling (M. Yingling), 21:17.
Shots on goal — Get 9, Sus 0
Corners — Get 5, Sus 2
Goalies — Get, Yanni Tassou (0 saves), Matt Balas (0 saves), Sus, Aaron Bilbie (6 saves)
JV score — Gettysburg 0, Susquehannock 0