GREENCASTLE >> There wasn't much offense to come by on a brisk Saturday morning, when the Red Lion boys' soccer team traveled to Greencastle-Antrim during the District 3 Class AAA boys' soccer preliminary round.
Ryan Yoder played hero for the Blue Devils, however, in a contest that saw just seven shots on goal. Yoder scored the lone goal of the game on a direct kick midway through the second half, lifting Greencastle to a 1-0 victory over the Lions.
Greencastle (14-6) now advances to face Cumberland Valley (17-2) in the tournament's first round. The game is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Central Dauphin Middle School.
Entering the game, Red Lion (8-6-3) was seeded 18th while the Blue Devils were the tournament's 15th seed.
Both teams looked sluggish in the first half, which was full of miscalculated passes and countless changes of possession. The two teams blanketed each other defensively, as the Blue Devils managed just two shots on goal while the Lions had only one.
"We failed to get our passing game going because they pressed us," Red Lion coach Mike Watt said. "We like to build back out, build through the defenders, but they were pressing so high that we couldn't do that effectively."
Greencastle took control in the second half as it started peppering shots in the box. The Blue Devils had several crosses and clears that led to multiple close calls.
"They probably launched 50-to-75 balls into our box between throw-ins and kicks throughout the game," Watt said. "If they keep doing that the whole game, it eventually works out for them."
That's exactly what happened for the Blue Devils when Yoder scored the game's first and only goal. The ball threaded through multiple Lions defenders and slipped past the keeper to give the Blue Devils the lead.
"Nobody got a head on it, and it skimmed right in," Greencastle coach Scott Gelsinger said. "I guess the goalie expected it to skim and misjudged it."
The Lions failed to create any offense throughout most of the game, but finally began to work the ball into the Blue Devils' half of the field with the clock winding down. Multiple chances were created by long clears from their defenders but they failed to turn any of those opportunities into goals.
"Late in the game we overplayed some balls and gave them a few breakaways that our defenders had to clean up," Gelsinger said. "Other than that, I thought we played well defensively."
Greencastle keeper Bryson Robison had a pair of saves in the Blue Devils' 11th shutout of the season.
Greencastle 1, Red Lion 0
Second half — (GA) Ryan Yoder, direct kick, 60th min.
Shots — RL 2, GA 5; Corner kicks — RL 3, GA 4; Saves — RL 4 (Brock Gould), GA 2 (Bryson Robinson).