By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Max Reed was in the perfect position for Lewisburg. As soon as Luke Permyashkin booted the ball out from deep in the Green Dragons' end, Reed took off.
The ball took a bounce behind the Midd-West's last line of defenders just beyond half field, and Reed quickly had it all to himself as he used his speed to distance himself.
With a one-on-one look against Midd-West's goalie, Reed noticed the right side of the goal looked just a tad bit more open.
Reed dribbled toward the left side of the net and, from a few yards inside of the 18-yard box, he fired a shot to the far post and snuck it just inside.
The goal finally broke a scoreless tie with 25:03 to play in the second half, and it helped Lewisburg gain a little momentum. The Green Dragons went on to defeat Midd-West, 2-0, at the Pawling Sports Complex at Lewisburg.
"Honestly, I credit Luke for that through-ball more than me, actually. He was smart enough to see that wide-open space behind the defense and he blasted that ball right over them and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time," Reed said. "With my speed, I ran by the defense behind the ball. It was an easy finish."
Reed's breakaway down the center of the field on Permyashkin's through-ball was the only solid look at the goal Reed had on the day, as Midd-West's Devaughn John shadowed the Lewisburg junior all game, playing stellar defense on him.
Reed finished with just two shots, both in the second half.
"We knew we had to stop Max Reed from going forward because he's very dangerous," Midd-West coach Chris Sauer said. "(John) single-handedly kept us right there.
"It was disappointing giving up a goal in that situation when we defended so well for so long and then something like that ... (it) just doesn't happen very often," Sauer added.
The second goal of the day for Lewisburg (5-0, 3-0 HAC-I) came when Adam Cole sent a pass to Andre' Permyashkin between the boxes. Permyashkin turned and fired a shot to the near post just seconds before colliding with a Mustangs defender. The ball rolled in to the near post, however, netting the Green Dragons a 2-0 lead with just 3:32 to play.
Midd-West (4-3, 2-2 HAC-I) was held to one shot the entire second half when Zane Leister rifled one from the 18-yard line, but sent it just wide of the goal with 11:50 to play.
Lewisburg's defenders -- Anthony Ortiz, Ben Sheaffer, Michael Fox and Luke Permyashkin -- kept the Mustangs offense from getting decent looks. Of the their six total shots, only one came from inside the 18-yard box.
"They're all on the same page defensively; a lot of communication out there," Lewisburg coach Skip Kratzer said. "Anthony does a great job of keeping them connected. We like to win the ball there. We like to possess the ball out of backfield and find our way up through the middle."
While the win kept Lewisburg undefeated, it also extended the Green Dragons' streak of solid defense not allowing a goal. It marked the fifth straight Lewisburg shutout.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome and I'm very pleased there's a zero on the opponent's scoreboard," Kratzer said. "If there's two things I'll take from that game, those are the two that I will take. I thought our defense played great. We obviously have room to improve and credit some of that to Midd-West. They exploited our weaknesses and showed it to (us)."