The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 30, 2013

Boys soccer; Eric Dempsey kicks Danville to District 4 Class AA championship


Daily Item

---- — By Shawn Wood

For The Daily Item

LOYALSOCK -- It seems like the name Dempsey is synonymous with big kicks.

Tom Dempsey was the first kicker in NFL history to kick a 63-yard field goal in 1970.

43-years later, Eric Dempsey came through with two big kicks of his own -- scoring on both -- to lead Danville past previously undefeated Lewisburg, 2-1, in the second semifinal game at Kenneth M. Robbins Memorial Stadium in Loyalsock in the District 4 Class AA boys soccer playoffs on Tuesday.

Danville (14-5) will face Warrior Run, a 1-0 winner over Central Columbia, in the finals on Thursday at a site and time to be determined.

Dempsey scored the first goal of the game with 3:11 left in the opening half as Derek Kirkner's shot deflected off Lewisburg's goalie Logan Cho and onto the foot of Dempsey who put it into the wide open net.

Dempsey then put the Ironmen up 2-0 just 1:25 into the second half when the initial shot was stopped by Cho, but Dempsey fought his way through several Lewisburg defenders and ripped the shot into the far side of the net.

Lewisburg closed to within one with 7:53 left when Danville goalie Jon Hauck made two straight saves, but he couldn't corral the ball a third time when Adam Cole put it past him just inside the left post.

"That was a great soccer game all around. A fun game to watch," Danville coach Brian Dressler said.

He had praise for his hard-working forward Dempsey.

"He just worked his guts out," he said.

It was the first time all season that a team had scored two goals on the Green Dragons (19-1).

They had beaten Danville twice during the regular season, 1-0 at Danville and 2-1 at Lewisburg.

"Their sweeper, Bryce Copenhaven, played a great game," Lewisburg coach Skip Kratzer said. "It seemed like there were two guys for them in the midfield for each one of our guys."

Dressler noted that this was the first time they played Lewisburg this season with a full, but maybe not completely healthy, line up.

"We know when we play Lewisburg, there is a lot of unnecessary running around but we also know they press a lot," he said. "We lost our composure there for three or four minutes after they scored and we were able to get back into the game and realize that we were still winning.'

Dempsey did not see the win over Lewisburg as an upset.

"I knew that we could get after them from the start," he said. "Our goalie (Jon Hauck) made some great saves and he's improved since the beginning of the year."

Hauck punched out one ball and made several diving saves on the night to preserve the lead.

The Green Dragons are a young team that starts five underclassmen in the starting line up.

"The good thing is that we are good and we are young," Kratzer said. "The boys had high expectations for the season and with high hopes comes disappointment at time. We aim very high and this loss will sting for a bit."

Danville prevented Lewisburg from attempting to claim a fourth consecutive District 4 title with the win.