Relaxed Gettysburg boys roll into district semifinals
Gettysburg scored a pair of goals in each half to advance to the District 3 Class AA boys' soccer semifinals for the second straight season. The Warriors defeated East Pennsboro, 4-0, in Thursday's quarterfinal at Hershey High School.
Gettysburg (21-0) will face Susquehannock on Monday for a spot in the district title match. The Warriors will be looking for their second straight appearance in the championship — a match they lost to Fleetwood, 2-1, a year ago.
"We're feeling good moving on to the semis," Gettysburg senior co-captain and centerback Bobby Weikert said. "We were here last year, and it feels good to get back."
Even though they were a round deeper into the district tournament, Warriors head coach Scott Hancock said he felt better about his team's pregame mindset on Thursday.
"Our players were much more tense before the Biglerville game on Monday, and I'm not really sure why," Hancock said. "But they were loose and focused before the game today."
East Pennsboro (14-5-1) earned the first shot on goal of the match when Noah Campomizzi let it fly from right inside the box just 75 seconds in. But Gettysburg sophomore keeper Yanni Tassou denied the shot.
Connor Weikert scored the Warriors' first goal off an assist from Matt Yingling at the 33:03 mark of the first half. Yingling played the ball from left to center and Weikert for the lower left corner for the marker.
Weikert joins Matt and Adam Yingling as part of the Gettysburg front three that has combined for 48 goals this season. Weikert, who also scored in Monday's win, has seven goals on the year.
"Connor struggled early with possession, but he was great on that goal," Hancock said. "He had some other nice shots, too. But he just doesn't get the attention that Adam and Matt get. He's a really good player and makes our team better."
Matt Yingling bumped the lead to 2-0 following a long pass from Drew Riggle. Yingling took two touches to free himself of the Panther defense, setting up a shot that got past East Pennsboro keeper Nick Caldwell with 15:20 left in the half.
The Panthers had won their previous nine matches by a combined score of 34-6.
"I had a scouting report on them that said they had no weaknesses and a strong bench, and that was an accurate report," East Pennsboro head coach Randy Rich said. "They were very strong on the ball and very technical."
Riggle added to the advantage with a beautiful header with 31:01 left in the match. Isaac Myers served him a long pass from 45 yards out, and Riggle flicked it over Caldwell with his back to the net.
Bobby Weikert put a bow on the scoring with 23:24 left off an assist from Jake Wilhelm.
Gettysburg owned a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal and an 11-1 edge in corners.
The shutout was Gettysburg's 15th in the last 16 matches, with the only blemish being an own goal with five minutes left in the Warriors' 5-1 win against Biglerville in the YAIAA semifinals on Oct. 20. Overall, Gettysburg has recorded 16 shutouts on the campaign.
"We jumped on them early and put them in a hole. We try to do that with the defense that we have," Bobby Weikert said. "Isaac Myers, Zach Shoemaker, Kellen Fees and our goalkeepers (Tassou and Matt Balas) try to form a wall back there and not let anything through."
First Half — 1. Get, Connor Weikert (Matt Yingling), 33:03. 2. Get, Yingling (Drew Riggle), 15:20.
Second Half — 3. Get, Riggle (Isaac Myers), 31:01. 4. Get, Bobby Weikert (Jake Wilhelm), 23:24.
Shots on Goal — EP 3, Get 14; Corners — EP 1, Get 11; Goalies — EP, Nick Caldwell (8 saves), Tyler Plum (2 saves), Get, Yanni Tassou (3 saves), Matt Balas (0 saves)