All year long, Gettysburg and Central York were generally viewed as the top two teams in YAIAA boys' soccer. But the Warriors and Panthers aren't in the same division, so the only way they could possible meet would be in the league tournament.
That happened in the championship match of the YAIAA tournament and Gettysburg slipped by with a 1-0 victory on Thursday night at Robert Lau Memorial Field in Glen Rock.
The victory gave Gettysburg its first tournament title in the Warriors' second year as a member of the conference and denied Central a third straight tournament crown. Gettysburg's title was the first by a squad from YAIAA Division II since Susquehannock claimed back-to-back crowns in 2008 and 2009.
"It was really, really nice to win tonight," Gettysburg head coach Scott Hancock said. "I wanted this for the kids and for the Gettysburg soccer program more than anything else."
Senior midfielder Adam Yingling said, "We've been looking forward to this match all year. It feels good after losing to them last year."
Central (17-2) defeated Gettysburg in the semifinals last year, 2-1.
The only goal of Thursday's contest came off the foot of Yingling with 27:32 left in the opening half, and came off a setup from Drew Wivell. It was Yingling's 26th goal of the campaign.
Wivell beat a Panthers defender to the ball before slipping a drop pass to Yingling who blasted a shot in from 15 yards out to the top-right corner of the net.
"One of their defenders knocked the ball down to Drew and he took a couple touches then dropped it off to me," Yingling said. "I went far post with it and was able to curve it in."
Central had a great chance early for a goal when Jared Wagner got a head on a cross off of a corner, only to have it denied by Gettysburg's Matt Balas with 33:10 left in the first half.
The second half saw an increase in pressure applied by the Panthers as they created a multitude of scoring opportunities only to have them all squashed by the Warriors' Yanni Tassou.
Igor Gomes had a trio of them with 35:51 left on a header, then shots with 28:04 and 22:08 left.
Gettysburg (19-0) mounted one serious scoring threat in the second half that saw the Warriors uncork three shots on goal in an eight-second span, but Trevor Holderegger denied all three at the eighth minute of the half. The first and third chances came from Yingling, with a shot from Alex Cowden coming in between.
"Trevor did well tonight, he came up big and made some nice saves for us," Central head coach Frank Lenno said. "We had the run of the play in the second half except for a few shots that they had. We just couldn't finish."
The best shot the Panthers had at pulling even came when Pierce Miller had a header from point-blank range off of a throw-in with 15:38 left that Tassou bobbled slightly before gathering it in.
"There were moments where they had us on our back foot," Hancock said. "But the defense held strong."
Senior center back Bobby Weikert added, "We sat a little deeper in the second half and our goal was to win as many balls as possible without letting them hit the ground."
Shots on goal and corners were both even, 8-8 and 3-3.
"They've got a good squad that could do really well in the playoffs," Lenno said. "They have a lot of good players and they're very well organized all over the field, especially in the back."
Gettysburg enters the District 3 Class AA playoffs as the No. 1 seed where the Warriors will host the winner of the Biglerville/Oley Valley play-in match, on Monday at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Central earned the No. 4 seed in Class AAA and will host the winner of the C.D. East/Daniel Boone play-in match on Monday at 7 p.m.
First Half — 1. Get, Adam Yingling (Drew Wivell), 27:32.
Shots on Goal — Get 8, CY 8
Corners — Get 3, CY 3
Goalies — Get, Matt Balas (2 saves), Yanni Tassou (6 saves), CY, Trevor Holderegger (7 saves)