Ross, Mustangs put away Milton 4-1

MIDDLEBURG – Midd-West controlled the game offensively and got two second-half goals from Ty Ross, including the game-winner with 16:10 left in the game as the Mustangs defeated Milton 4-1 in a Heartland Athletic Conference boys soccer game at Midd-West High School Wednesday.

“I just think that we finally realized that we needed to step out and play,” Midd-West coach Chris Sauer said. “We need to be cleaner and be a little more precise. In the second half, they relaxed a little. They focused on keeping the ball instead of trying to go forward so fast.”

Ross beat Milton goalkeeper Parker McDowell, who was great most of the night, from the left side to put the Mustangs ahead for good.

“His goals in the second half was what he does,” Sauer said. “He works tirelessly. His first goal was completely off of hard work. His hard work is what sets him apart a lot of other forwards.”

The offense really came in the second half when Ross was able to separate from the Milton defenders and put the ball in the back of the net.

Midd-West had an opportunity during the third minute of the first half on a breakaway, but the drawn out Milton goalie McDowell made the stop, avoiding the quick deficit.

Ross had another chance about a minute later, but again, McDowell denied the scoring chance.

McDowell’s most impressive save yet came in the 20th minute when he dove to snare Devaughn Johns’ shot to keep Midd-West off the scoreboard.

“We had plenty of shots inside the 18,” Sauer said. “The first half we didn’t take care of our chances. I don’t know if it was that we weren’t focused or we were putting too much pressure on finishing.”

Malik Bethea started off the scoring when he beat McDowell in the 26th minute, staking Midd-West to a 1-0 lead.

Bethea fired from the right side and McDowell struggled to corral the shot before it found the net.

Ross was there in case there was a rebound, which wasn’t necessary.

“It just went right through his hands and through his legs,” Ross said. “I was just there because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Just make sure we’re there.”

A little over a minute later, Milton capitalized on its first good opportunity of the night.

Milton rattled one off the crossbar before bouncing the following shot off the crossbar and in for Wade Heidel’s goal, evening the score at 1-1.

Midd-West had a shot with nine minutes gone in the second half when a Trevor Stuck pass was headed and stopped by McDowell again.

The Mustangs had their best opportunity of the second half when they got four consecutive corner kicks with 21 minutes left in the game, but could not convert any of them into goals.

Ross’ goal came five minutes later, then he connected again with 9:20 to play, giving Midd-West a two-goal cushion.

“It was just working hard and being in the right place at the right time,” Ross said of his night.

Logan Klinepeter added another goal for good measure, making it a 4-1 final.

Tyler Arbogast added two second-half assists.

The Mustangs improve to 10-6 on the season and 8-4 in the Heartland Conference and will be in action at 4 p.m. on Monday when they travel to Selinsgrove.