Green Hornets stop Greenwood boys

WILLIAMSPORT — Greenwood’s Tyus Yeingst took to what looked to be an open shot. But sliding in came Wellsboro’s Nic Ingerick, putting himself in harm’s way and blocking the shot.

Later, Luke Myers wound up his right leg as he looked to have an open shot on Nate Redell’s goal. But again, sliding in at the last moment was Noah Fitch.

Wellsboro defenders pressured, contested and made easy shots for Greenwood difficult as the Green Hornets flew around, making slide tackles and blocking shots as they came away with the 1-0 win over Greenwood in a PIAA Class A boys soccer opening-round game Tuesday evening at the Balls Mills Soccer Club.

Fitch scored the game-winning goal in the 27th minute for Wellsboro’s (20-1-1) first state playoff win in program history after winning its first district title a week ago.

“We talk about having artists and soldiers and artists are our attackers. They have a little bit more of creative freedom and our defenders and our holding mids are our soldiers and we expect them to not do anything flashy, not get much credit but just fight and battle and put their bodies on the line and man did they,” Wellsboro coach John Shaffer said. “They were soldiers today for the team.”

Though Wellsboro pressured Greenwood, the Wildcats had opportunities and some good ones, especially early. After a shot bounced off the crossbar, a Greenwood forward fired a great shot into the bottom corner of the net but Redell was there to make the save.

The nine Wildcat corner kicks were a big advantage as well but the only one that produced a quality shot came with 10 seconds remaining when the headed shot went just wide right as the remaining seconds ticked down.

Wellsboro’s lone goal was off a defensive misplay as Fitch fired in the loose ball from about eight yards out for the 1-0 advantage at 26:57.

“As a team atmosphere, this is as good as it gets right here. That’s why we do this every day. They were opportunistic. We made a mistake and he made us pay for a big one. We had a few but they attack in an organized way. Their passes and their outlets to create danger, they’re always on the move and sometimes we killed our own momentum,” Greenwood coach Aaron Anstine said. “We built, built and built it then we kind of killed it. We talked in the last two weeks here about ramping it up when we need to, we maybe didn’t do that in the district championship game against Camp Hill but tonight when the game’s on the line and the seasons on the line, we did turn it up a couple notches and created some opportunities. I thought that last corner was going in and it would’ve been nice to be rewarded with another one but whether it was them or us it doesn’t matter. That’s how you play the game. But our effort time in and time out, as you can see, these guys are emotional. That’s why we’re here.”

Though not advancing in the state tournament, Anstine is still proud of his team. The Wildcats (19-5) accomplished every goal they set out for this season.

“We hit every single goal this year of winning the county championship, winning the league, holding everybody accountable, team-first atmosphere and making it to the district championship which got us to states,” he said.

Wellsboro 1, Greenwood 0

First half

W–Noah Fitch, 26:57.

Shots: G 17-9. Corners: G9 -3. Saves: G-5 (Bryce Dalpiaz), W-6 (Nate Redell)