Mustangs ousted in struggle

Sentinel photo by KATELYN HIBBARD Midd-West’s Cole Sauer, left, slides under Lewisburg’s Adam Cole Thursday at Balls Mills. The Mustangs’ Devan Leister looks on.

WILLIAMSPORT — Lewisburg coach Skip Kratzer knew the Green Dragons had the ability to score a goal off a throw in. Kratzer and his staff knew that it was just a matter of time before they converted.

So when Mateo Bernas re-entered the game just over midway into the second half and Nate Liscum went to take the throw in, Kratzer definitely was happy to see the end result unfold.

Liscum stood at the side and threw a great ball inside of the 18. From there, Bernas took it, wasted no time at all and went to the left post to score.

That goal by Bernas proved to be the difference maker, as Lewisburg defeated Midd-West, 1-0, in the District 4 Class AA championship at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex on Thursday.

It proved to be the type of game you’d expect out of Midd-West and Lewisburg: a physical contest.

“We knew this was going to be this game. This is a traditional Lewisburg/Midd-West game. They come in and beat the heck out of us and we stand up and pick ourselves back up and keep going,” Kratzer said.

It’s the third consecutive District 4 championship for the Green Dragons (19-1) and also the seventh consecutive shutout for Lewisburg. The Green Dragons advance to the state tournament. Midd-West closes its season at 14-41.

Bernas played Liscum’s throw in perfectly to score what would be the only goal of the night with 17:11 to play

While Lewisburg did only score that one goal against Midd-West (14-4-1), Bhangdia had two chances in a 90-second span early in the game to have made it a 2-0 game.

Bhangdia took a shot with 34:20 to play off a free kick 25 yards out and drilled it to the top left corner, only to have it hit the upright. Then with 33:05 to play in the first half, Bhangdia had a nice sliding shot from just outside of the goal box that was sent high, just hitting the very top of the crossbar.

The Green Dragons held a 5-2 shots-on-goal advantage, and fired a total of 10 shots to Midd-West’s three. In the first half, those Lewisburg shots seemed to be just a tad off the mark. Wil Brock had a nice first-half shot that was fired from outside the 18 right to Midd-West’s goalie, Tyler Martin, who caught it.

In the second half, Bhangdia had a nice shot on goal from another free kick about 25 yards deep, but Martin made a stop to prevent it from being a two-goal deficit.

In the final 7:30 of the game, Midd-West lost two talented players in Cole Sauer and Trevor Leitzel to yellow cards, taking away two weapons to try to net an equalizer against the Green Dragons late.

“It is tough, but guys that were on the field poured everything they had for it,” Midd-West coach Chris Sauer said. “You can’t be upset about that.”

Midd-West’s Carter Knepp had a nice shot about six minutes into the second half from outside the 18, but Lewisburg goalie Ryan Ehmann prevented it from being a goal, preserving the seventh consecutive shutout for Lewisburg.