---- — By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Just about all of Lewisburg's players on the field pleaded with the referee.
The call was a wide shot, but Max Reed knew it was a goal.
After some discussion, the referee and a Lewisburg player jogged over to the goal for a look and, sure enough, there was a hole in the corner of the net just like the Green Dragons argued. Reed's shot went right through it, giving the illusion of a wide shot to those in attendance.
The official reversed his call and awarded Lewisburg the goal.
It was a monumental momentum-shift, all but taking the wind out of Shikellamy's sails, as the Green Dragons defeated the Braves in a pivotal HAC-I matchup between the top two schools, 4-0, on Saturday at Lewisburg Middle School.
"I certainly think it helped do that (give us a boost). A 1-0 game is anybody's game," Lewisburg coach Skip Kratzer said. "That second one certainly helped us feel a lot more comfortable and play calmly, I guess is the best way to put it."
The second goal helped spark the Green Dragons (13-0, 9-0) offensively against the Braves (9-3-1, 7-3).
Just seven minutes after Reed's second-half goal, Calvin Reif scored off a free kick by Bronson Ferster. Ferster's free kick a few yards behind the 18-yard line hit off a wall of Shikellamy defenders and bounced right to Reif. He took the ball a couple feet to his left before punching it in to the far post to make it a 3-0 game.
The Braves offense couldn't seem to get rolling against Lewisburg's solid defense. The Braves didn't have a single shot on goal, although they were credited with five shots.
Shikellamy had only one shot in the first half when Seth Burk slid in front of the goal area and tried to sneak one to the near post, but just missed wide by a few feet.
"Actually play-wise, I thought second half was a little bit better for us, but I think that goal/non-goal thing sort of got us a little deflated. It did (shift momentum)," Shikellamy coach Jon Steese said.
The Green Dragons scored their final goal of the day when Adam Cole took a loose ball about 20 yards out near the center of the field and hit a nice high shot just out of the reach of Shikellamy goalie Justin Engle's hands with 4:50 to play.
Lewisburg's first goal came in the first half when Reed dribbled a through-ball down the right side of the field to the corner of the goal area and fired a shot to the far post. Engle came out to stop it, but Reed's shot went just through his legs and rolled slowly toward the goal. Engle turned around quickly to fall on it, but couldn't reach it in time.
Lewisburg out-shot Shikellamy, 22-5, and the Green Dragons' defense played solid for all 80 minutes.
"I got to shout out for the defense as a team, not just the back four. We've been really focusing on playing a team defense and that's from the first guy who loses the ball the whole way back through, and I think they did a really nice job of responding to that," Kratzer said. "(They) made it really difficult for Shikellamy to be able to possess the ball very long. They really needed to get rid of it pretty quickly because we were there."
Defensively, Shikellamy played just as tough in the first half, yielding only one goal.
"We've heard how improved this Shikellamy team was. (They're) definitely a much-improved team from the last few years and they played us well," Kratzer said.