The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 24, 2012

H.S. soccer: Selinsgrove takes battle of HAC-I unbeatens

SELINSGROVE — The pass landed just in front of Selinsgrove’s David Aurand and he took the breakaway down the middle of the field before cutting to his left.

After he got past the final defender, Aurand took a hard shot just a few yards past the corner of the goal. Freshman Lewisburg goalie Logan Cho blocked the shot, but it bounced right back to Aurand. The senior Seal quickly booted it back, this time right over Cho, just nicking the edge of the goal post and banking in.

The goal was the second on the day for Selinsgrove, and a solid defensive performance in second half allowed the Seals to stay undefeated and beat Lewisburg, 2-0, in a HAC-I boys soccer showdown.

“He just put his head down and kind of willed that ball in the goal, which was kind of nice,” Selinsgrove coach Chris Lupolt said. “He has a tendency to do that. He just doesn’t give up on plays and that was an example of that.”

The game featured two of the Heartland Athletic Conference’s top teams, both of whom were undefeated going into the game. It was the hype of a huge game that may have caught some of Lewisburg’s players off guard at first, creating some unwanted nerves.

“We just had to get some boys to calm down a little. I think they had the pressure of this whole worrying about being undefeated and realizing that they can play with Selinsgrove,” Lewisburg coach Skip Kratzer said.

Both the Green Dragons (8-1-1, 5-1-1 HAC-I) and Seals (10-0, 7-0) played even through the first half, despite Selinsgrove’s 2-0 score advantage.

Toward the end of the half, it was Selinsgrove’s defense that started to stiffen, keeping the ball away from the Green Dragons. The Seals prevented Lewisburg from attempting a shot for a near 25-minute span of the first half.

The Seals wasted little time in putting points on the scoreboard. Charles Peeler took a loose ball just outside the corner of the penalty box and rifled a shot to the lower right corner almost four minutes in to put the Seals up 1-0 early.

Lewisburg changed tempo in the second half, dialing up the offensive pressure and taking more shots than it had in the first half, including a 6-3 shot on goal difference.

Selinsgrove had no shot attempts through the first 22 minutes of the second half.

“We didn’t really play well overall, in the second half especially, but a win is a win. Our goals were kind of soft, but we’ll take them,” Lupolt said with a laugh. “It just seemed today on both sides it was kind of lethargic a little bit.”

Selinsgrove kept Lewisburg from shifting the momentum with a goal, and routinely made good defensive plays to keep the Green Dragons away.

“Our keeper (Travis Petrich) came up strong and came up big on a couple of those saves ... he came up big,” Lupolt said. “He stepped it up when he needed to.”

Lewisburg’s Bronson Ferster had a nice shot to score an apparent goal with 23:26 to play in the second half. However, the whistle blew right as Jacob Lightman made the pass to Ferster, negating the goal and a potential momentum swing for the Green Dragons.

Lewisburg also had four corner kicks after halftime, but each time failed to take advantage to get a shot on goal.

The win marked just the second time the Seals defeated Lewisburg during Lupolt’s eight years as head coach.

“I’m excited that we won because I haven’t beaten them since I was in high school,” Lupolt said, “so it’s good to finally beat them because they’re good every year.”

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