BOYS SOCCER: Cumberland Valley halts Chambersburg's streak, 2-1
CHAMBERSBURG >> Cumberland Valley and Chambersburg had played 140 minutes of soccer this year without producing a goal.
But with two bolts of brilliance in the second half Thursday night at Trojan Stadium, Christian Valen changed that.
Valen scored the first goal and assisted on the second to help the Eagles notch a 2-1 victory that simultaneously ended a seven-game win streak for the Trojans and ended their chance for a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division title.
"This was a big game, and I'm not sure we were mature enough to handle it," Chambersburg coach Corey Grove said. "It was a good crowd and they had a lot of energy, but we never seemed to calm down."
CV was coming off a loss to Central Dauphin that had put the division title up for grabs. The Trojans could have won the crown by beating the Eagles and then bumping off Central Dauphin on Saturday. Now, CD has the edge, unless it loses to Chambersburg.
Eagles coach Matt Billman said, "This was a gut check game for us coming off a loss. Plus, we need to win big games on the road and we had lost here in districts last year."
The first half was mostly a feeling out process, although Chambersburg's Erik Espinoza did have one opportunity that was blanketed by Cumberland Valley keeper Matt Zambetti.
The Trojans had two other chances that looked dangerous, but the first touch on breakaways betrayed them and CV recovered.
"I think that was just nerves," Grove said. "Most of time we control those balls."
It didn't take long after halftime for Valen to change the game. Just a minute into the latter half, Valen brought down a crossfield pass from Holden Zimmerman, then rifled a shot from around 25 yards out that sailed into the far upper 90.
"We had talked at the half about trying to switch the ball to either side," Valen said. "I had time and just tried to hit a hard shot."
Billman said, "We told them we wanted to win every 50-50 ball in the second half, and we wanted to stretch them out on defense. And both our goals came from that."
Four minutes after Zambetti had denied Espinoza once again, the Eagles doubled their lead. Valen beat feet down the right wing and sent a cross into the heart of the penalty area. Teammate Stephen Thompson had inside position on his marker and one-timed the ball into the net.
Grove said, "I thought our defense played pretty well – the goals they got, there wasn't much we could do about them."
Trojan midfielder Nathan Maynard, who was all over the field, said, "They had a kid hit a ridiculous shot; we were a little unlucky there. But they won more balls in the middle and probably deserved it more."
Chambersburg did make it interesting. With just over eight minutes left, CV was called for a foul deep down its left flank. Inigo Macias whipped in a driving free kick and Rene Quintanilla got his head on it to flick it past Zambetti and into the net.
But other than another shot by Quintanilla, the Trojans couldn't mount any promising attacks.
Grove said, "It took us getting down two goals before we starting playing. It's tough to get the forwards in the game without good midfield play and we didn't have that tonight.
"I told the guys that even the best players in the world have bad days ... it's just that half of our team had bad days tonight. I told them to forget about tonight, but they have to understand that every game from here on out will be a tough one like this."
Cumberland Valley 2
Second half — (CV) Christian Valen, asst. Holden Zimmerman, 42nd min., (CV) Stephen Thompson, asst. Valen, 60th, (Ch) Rene Quintanilla, asst. Inigo Macias, 72nd.
Shots — CV 9, Chbg 10; Shots on goal — CV 3, Chbg 5; Corner kicks — CV 7, Chbg 4; Saves — CV 4 (Matt Zambetti), Chbg 1 (Chandler Schur); Fouls — CV 13, Chbg 113; Offsides — Chbg 1; Cautions — Chbg 2.