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BOYS SOCCER: Defenses of Chambersburg, State College shine in 0-0 draw

CHAMBERSBURG >> Chambersburg came into Tuesday night's Mid Penn Commonwealth Division boys soccer scrap with State College averaging over three goals per game.

The Little Lions were averaging over two goals per game.

But on this night at Trojan Stadium, the defenses ruled, and both sides had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

"It was two pretty high-scoring teams, but we figured it was a matter of who scored first," Trojan central defender Ryley Reed said.

"Not a pretty game, but probably a deserved result," State College coach Danny Orton said. "We hadn't had a clean sheet in a couple of games and we knew Chambersburg had some real threats up top, so we worked on our individual defense. We didn't want to go diving in on a player like Erik Espinoza."

And that was a key. The Trojans (4-2-1, 3-2-1 MPC) have several players with excellent ball skills, including Espinoza, but they had trouble getting free.

Chambersburg coach Corey Grove said, "We didn't create opportunities at all like we have been doing. They did a heck of a job against us 1v1, and we tried to work harder off the ball, but it didn't work out."

The only real good chance in the first half came when the Trojans' Victor Canel screamed a shot that flew just over the crossbar.

In the second half, Chambersburg had two good chances to break the deadlock. With 17 minutes left the Trojans made a clever move on a direct kick that freed up John Ramirez, but Little Lion goalkeeper Jason Keller was equal to the task and snared his shot.

With 11 left, Canel hit a corner kick that Nathan Maynard headed past Keller, but a State College defender cleared the shot off his goal line.

Espinoza worked himself into two decent opportunities. The first, with 4:50 left, rattled off the crossbar, and the second, in overtime, went right to Keller.

Maynard said, "I thought we played a little too much in the air, and they did a good job defending Erik and Rafa (Rafael Bonilla). Both teams worked hard, and it was one of those games when one mistake could have changed it."

The Little Lions (5-2-1, 2-1-1 MPC) set up Yannick Arienbuwa for a good shot with nine minutes left in regulation, but Trojan keeper Chandler Schur dove to his right to smother the ball.

State College's most dangerous player appeared to be Craig Hilliard, but sophomore Josue Chacon held him to only a couple of non-threatening shots.

"Josue came up from the JV team and has started four games now," Grove said. "He is a little raw, but is strong and physical even though he's playing against seniors."

Orton said, "Their guy did well on (Hilliard). We were trying to get around Chambersburg's back four, but the few times we did the passes weren't dangerous enough."

"I thought this was our best game defensively," Reed said. "We communicated better than we had in other games."

Grove said, "It's a good thing the defense put up a shutout, because we just didn't seem to have any energy tonight. Every team has a game like this; we just have to be patient and come back Thursday (at Cumberland Valley)."

Chambersburg 0

State College 0

State College0000—0 Chambersburg000

Shots — SC 13, Chbg 12; Shots on goal — SC 3, Chbg 4; Corner kicks — SC 3, Chbg 5; Saves — SC 4 (Jason Keller), Chbg 3 (Chandler Schur); Fouls — SC 11, Chbg 12; Yellow cards — SC 1, Chbg 1.

JV score — State College 3, Chambersburg 0.