Portzline nets five goals in rout of BMS
JMS’ Portzline closes in on 100 goals
MCALISTERVILLE — A late offensive surge led by Anson Portzline, carried Juniata Christian past rival Belleville Mennonite by the final score of 7-1 in an Allegheny Christian Athletic Association boys soccer game on Tuesday.
Portzline had a sensational afternoon, scoring five times, while Owen Yorks added a pair of goals in the victory.
“It was a good win, it was a hard fought win. We were down two players — two starters — that were injured so we had a couple guys coming off the bench that really played well and filled in nicely,” Lions’ coach Dave Portzline said. “There were parts of the game where we struggled but once we got everything calmed down and figured it out, we really played well.”
It was certainly a clash of styles as it became apparent that Juniata Christian looked for a more up tempo style, while Belleville Mennonite was more slow and steady and heavy pressing.
Right off the bat, it appeared as though Juniata Christian and its style of play struck first the first two minutes of the game, sophomore Avery Portzline launched a deep pass over to his older brother and senior Anson Portzline who hustled his way through the Thunder defensive line and fired in the first goal of the game.
For quite a while afterwards, Belleville Mennonite took control of the game with its tough and physical play keeping the Lions out of their rhythm. But the Thunder were unable to capitalize on their opportunities to even the game.
Juniata Christian eventually got back on track as Owen Yorks scored on a header after a scramble in front of the net to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
After the goal was scored, Belleville Mennonite controlled the pacing of the match and set up an opportunity for Quinn Renno, who blasted a shot from deep only for the ball to sail over the net.
“I thought we were fine, we were physical, we controlled the pace of the play,” Thunder coach Michael Armstrong said. “But credit to them they played that over the top ball right over to Anson, he’s crafty on the ball. He knows what he’s doing.”
With just under three minutes left in the half, Yorks found the speedy Portzline who then sent the Lions into the break with a 3-0 lead.
“We had a little area in the first half where the guys struggled a little bit getting the ball out of the back and we go through these little phases where we do struggle with that,” Portzline said. “But after we calmed ourselves down a little bit, we started moving the ball a lot better out of the back and started possessing it out of the back.”
“Makes a huge difference when you already have control and then you try to play it forward to guys that are running,” Portzline continued. “It’s a back and forth game and for a while I was a little worried when the momentum did shift to Belleville and they were making some runs but we fought through.”
Juniata Christian started off quick offensively in the second half as well, as Anson Portzline took advantage of a penalty kick which put the Lions up 4-0.
But the Thunder refused to back down on the intensity and eventually powered through as Samuel Stoltzfus with some help from Drew Mirello scored the goal to cut the lead down to 4-1.
The Thunder did not let up for a while continuing to attack the net but failed make get the ball in the net.
Anson Portzline who already had a hat trick in the game, was looking for some more scoring the next two goals of the game. The final goal of the game came from Yorks who scored his second goal of the game with an assist from Avery Portzline.
Anson Portzline had 91 career goals heading into the game and had added five more goals for a new career goals of 96. Portzline is pushing ever so close to 100 career goals as well as the county record of 106.
“Anson is a tough player,” Portzline said. “He’s fast, every game he has two or three guys marking him. Really what it comes down to is he just out runs them. He’s composed in front of the goal so when he gets free, he’s able to finish.”
Juniata Christian is now (4-1) and will look to keep rolling on Thursday as the Lions will host Christian School of York.
For Belleville Mennonite, the Thunder drop to (2-3) and will look to get back in the win column on Friday as they will travel to Walnut Street Christian.
Despite the loss, Armstrong was very proud with how his team played.
“At the beginning of the half, we showed that we can hang in a game,” Armstrong said. “We did three things tonight that we have been talking about all season, we played united, we played as a team, we played physically and we never quit.”
“That’s a stepping stone for us and know that’s apart of our legacy,” Armstrong continued. “As what we want people to know when they come to play us or we go to them. That those three things are going to be true.”
Juniata Christian 7, Belleville Mennonite 1
J – Anson Portzline (Avery Portzline), 38:31; J – Owen Yorks, 13:30; J – Anson Portzline (Yorks), 2:56.
J – Anson Portzline (PK), 37:19; B – Samuel Stoltzfus (Drew Mirello), 33:48; J – Anson Portzline (PK), 18:45; J – Anson Portzline (Avery Portzline), 15:41; J – Yorks (Avery Portzline), 6:49.
Shots: J 11-7. Corners: J 7-5. Saves: J-6 (Micah Dressler), B-4 (Evan Crosson).