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Gettysburg needs late heroics to win title

Gettysburg never held a lead against Biglerville, but following an unlikely turn of events during the final 16 minutes of regulation, Gettysburg walked away with the championship after its annual season-opening boys' soccer tournament.

After a 2-2 draw during regulation, the Warriors won the shootout, 4-1, to earn the champions' trophy.

The game will go down in the standings as a tie, but because of the rules at the 14th annual Gettysburg Kickoff Tournament, penalty kicks are used to determine a tournament winner.

Gettysburg (1-0-1) earned its spot in the championship match by defeating Littlestown, 8-0. Meanwhile, Biglerville (1-0-1) took down Northern, 4-1.

In the title match, Gettysburg needed to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the final minutes just to force penalty kicks. The Canners kept the Warriors off the scoreboard for the first 64 minutes before senior Matt Yingling found the back of the net. The play came off a corner kick, when Biglerville keeper, Noah Mattson, deflected the ball into the middle of the field. From there, Yingling volleyed the ball into the goal.

Eight minutes later, Yingling responded to a foul by Cody Daron by pushing Daron. Yingling wasn't carded for his indiscretion and that worked in Gettysburg's favor.

"He should've been carded, no question," Biglerville head coach Jebb Nelson said. "The official farthest away from the play said it wasn't his call and told me he didn't want to call it. But the official close to it chose not to, and he admitted afterwards that he should've called it."

So Yingling remained on the field instead of heading to the bench, and he evened the match on a direct kick from 20 yards out with 5:55 remaining. A Biglerville defender took down Drew Wivell just outside the box, setting up Yingling for the game-tying direct kick.

"I should've been carded and I know that," Yingling said. "I lost my head a little bit, and I can't do that. I almost really let my team down."

Biglerville weathered an early Gettysburg push and turned the tide about 15 minutes into the match when it began to dominate play. This led to a Bryan Diaz goal, ripping off a shot from 25 yards out that nestled into the top right corner with 12:11 left in the first half.

Mattson, a freshman, kept the Canners in front with a diving save on Wivell's shot with 38:05 left in the second half, and the visitors then bumped their advantage to two goals on Lazaro Salazar's unassisted tally with 23:05 left.

It was the first career goal for the freshman as he beat Warriors keeper Yanni Tassou to a ball 15 yards off Tassou's line.

"Our guys played extremely well against a high-quality program," Nelson said. "We put the pressure on them all match long, and I'd love to see them again in the YAIAA tournament."

In the shootout, Gettysburg received goals from Wivell, Kellen Fees, Logan Carbaugh and Yingling, while Christian Saldivar scored the Canners' only goal. Tassou made a diving save off a Chris Cellucci shot on goal, and Jared Dotson-Jones missed the goal frame wide left.

"We've improved since the start of camp, but a tie is a fair reflection of where we're at right now," Gettysburg head coach Scott Hancock said. "We have a lot of work to do, but I expected this to be a very tight match.

"The first 15 minutes of the first half and most of the second half we played well. But we've got to play well for more than that to beat many of the teams that are on our schedule."

Biglerville _1_1 - _2
Gettysburg _0_2 - _2
First Half
- 1. Big, Bryan Diaz, 12:11.
Second Half - 2. Big, Lazaro Salazar, 23:05; 3. Get, Matt Yingling, 16:00; 4. Get, Matt Yingling, 5:55.
Shootout Goals - Big, Christian Saldivar; Get, Drew Wivell, Kellen Fees, Logan Carbaugh, Yingling.
Shots on Goal - Big 2; Get 5
Corners - Big 1; Get 8
Goalies - Big, Noah Mattson (3 saves); Get, Yanni Tassou (0 saves)