Sealed the deal
Three second half goals lift Selinsgrove
MIDDLEBURG –Midd-West failed to capitalize on its scoring opportunities despite a strong second half as the Mustangs fell to Selinsgrove by the final score of 5-3 in a Heartland Athletic Conference boys soccer game Tuesday night.
“I think at the beginning we might not have been mentally ready, so the way we responded after being down two I think was the right way,” Mustangs coach Mark Ferster said. “It was important to get one at the half and then obviously in the end, had those two goals not gone in earlier the way they did, we were right in the hunt. The boys battled back. They could have hung their heads and sort of thrown in the towel, but we showed what we had. I’m pleased with our efforts.”
The Mustangs came out the gates swinging almost immediately, as Owen Solomon marched his way down the field with a shot at the goal but missed.
Not long after that, the Seals struck as Matthew Gilfert slipped the ball past the Midd-West defensive line to the awaiting Nick Ritter who blasted in the goal to give Selinsgrove a 1-0 lead with 35 minutes remaining.
A couple minutes later the Seals came back for more as Owen Magee on a corner attempt sent one to Noah Derr to put them up 2-0.
But once things began to settle for Midd-West, the Mustangs kicked it up to another gear and were storming the gates.
One scoring opportunity came in the form of Trey Wagner, who launched a rocket toward the net only to have it tipped over the net by Selinsgrove goalkeeper Cole Catherman.
But the Mustangs kept the pressure on as Nicholas Eppley muscled his way through the Seals’ defense and fired one through, cutting the lead to 2-1 with 25:03 remaining.
“I think had we put one in first, having that one opportunity with nobody between us and the goal — we just got slowed down and we weren’t finishing — I think it may have been a different story,” Ferster said. “I felt that we had opportunities, it wasn’t for a lack of them. Overall either way, it was a exciting game.”
From there on Midd-West continued to drive its way toward net as Eppley pulled off another shot only to be stopped by Catherman. Nate Hartman joined in on the action with back-to-back shots on goal but was stopped each time by Catherman.
Both teams were trading blows throughout the second half of the game, before Magee dropped one into the net extending the Selinsgrove lead to 3-1.
Later the Seals scored on a free kick from Jamison Bohner who crossed it over to Kyle Ruhl to make it a 4-1 Selinsgrove lead.
But the Mustangs refused to back down from the challenge, putting constant pressure on the Seals, eventually forcing the Seals into a penalty. Stefan Leitzel took advantage of the penalty kick, converting it to cut the lead back to two.
Seconds later, Selinsgrove’s Ruhl added another tally. Not long after that, Eppley launched a cross to Nolan Stahl, who finished a header into the back of the net.
“We understand that we can’t always get two for ones so we got to get them one at a time from there, and after we did that, I thought the momentum shifted a lot and we started to gain it,” Ferster said. “It’s just unfortunate that they had one bang around and deflect off us, but that’s just the nature of the beast. It happens. But I’m confident that these guys will be there at the end where we need to be and if we can continue to work like that, I think we’ll be all right.”
The Mustangs also lost in the JV game, 4-1. The lone Mustangs goal was scored by Kynn Loss.
Midd-West (1-1-1) travels to face Hughesville on Saturday.
Selinsgrove 5, Midd-West 3
S – Nick Ritter (Matthew Gilfert), 35:00; S – Noah Derr (Owen Magee), 32:06; MW – Nic Eppley, 25:03
S – Magee, 15:06; S – Kyle Ruhl (Jamison Bohner), 9:25; MW – Stefan Leitzel (PK), 8:01; S – Ruhl, 7:53; MW – Nolan Stahl (Eppley), 6:22
Shots: MW 11-10. Corners: S 7-3. Saves: MW-7 (Josh Horst), S-8 (Cole Catherman)