District 2 champ no match for Mustangs

Sentinel photo by FRANK C. LAURI
Midd-West’s Carter Knepp (12) and Wyoming Seminary’s Edward Miller (19) fight for possession during a PIAA Class 2A boys soccer game Tuesday at Crestwood.

MOUNTAIN TOP — Sometimes, your team is simply outmatched.

That proved to be the case Tuesday night at Crestwood, where Midd-West used speed and skill to eliminate Wyoming Seminary from the state playoffs.

“My hats off to them,” Seminary coach Aaron Littzi said. “They’re a great team and they deserved the victory tonight.”

Stefan Leitzel’s free kick from the Midd-West 35-yard line that connected with Nick Eppley’s perfectly timed header put the Mustangs on the board. Chase Strohecker and Evan Eppley later added goals in the Mustangs’ 3-0 win in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A boys soccer tournament.

Midd-West (20-2) advances to play in the quarterfinals Saturday against Lancaster Mennonite, a 3-0 winner Tuesday against District 12 champ Lansdale Catholic.

“It was a nice goal,” an understated Midd-West head coach Chris Sauer said of Nick Eppley’s score. “It’s not a lot different from other goals that Nick has scored. He comes in as a freshman in a state playoff game and steps up and scores a goal like that, especially after a frustrating district final for us.”

While Seminary (14-2-2) was the District 2 champion, Midd-West entered states as the runner-up in District 4. The Mustangs are about as good a two-seed that’ll be found in the state tournament, as they suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime defeat in the District 4 title game Saturday against Central Columbia.

“The big thing tonight was we got that second goal, we got that third goal,” Sauer said. “Whereas on Saturday, we didn’t get that finish. Had we had that on Saturday, we’d have been district champions.”

When asked about the scouting report he had on Seminary, Sauer pointed to the Blue Knights’ solid team defense, as well as the good individual defense by goalkeeper Ryan Anderson.

Anderson played another great game in net for the Knights, making nine saves and helping keep hs team in the game.

However, Seminary could muster only one shot on goal against Midd-West’s Chase Roush, whose hands never even touched the game ball until late in the second half.

In the second half, Seminary and Midd-West looked like much closer opponents than in the first, but still, Evan Eppley scored on a corner kick at the 14:47 mark for the final tally and a 3-0 lead.

The loss wrapped up the high school soccer careers of a whopping 13 Seminary seniors.

Midd-West 3, Wyoming Seminary 0

First half

MW–Nick Eppley (Stefan Leitzel), 31:50; MW–Chase Strohecker, 12:40; MW–Evan Eppley, 14:47.

Shots: MW 14-3. Corners: MW 11-1. Saves: MW-1 (Chase Roush); WS-9 (Ryan Anderson).