By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE -- Warrior Run goalie Jason McWilliams grabbed the ball and punted it deep down field.
It just so happened to bounce right near Elias George, so he ran with it.
The senior Defender dribbled the ball down between the boxes and, from about 6 yards out and with his back to a Shikellamy defender, quickly turned and rifled a hard shot to the far post.
It was a big goal that put Shikellamy down by two. Because while the Braves had an aggressive second half, it wasn't enough.
Warrior Run held on to hand the Braves their first loss of the year, 2-1, in a non-league contest at Warrior Run on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
"We're fortunate, yes. Pleased that we obviously got the win, but fortunate to win the game," Warrior Run coach Doug Bastian said. "Shikellamy played really, really hard and I congratulated the coach after the game for their effort."
George's goal came just under five minutes after the Defenders put the first goal on the board.
With 29:59 to play, George dribbled near the back line when he saw Masen Wagner just a few feet in front of the goal box. George sent a great pass to Wagner, who took a shot to his right at the near post and squeezed it in past Shikellamy goalie Justin Engle.
The Defenders' two goals were the most allowed by the Braves, who had won all five of their games prior to Saturday via shutout.
"The two shots they had were right there, right inside the six. (It's) hard to defend them for any keeper," Shikellamy coach Jon Steese said. "We understood that's what they're going to do with Elias. He's a great distributor, so that's what he did. He distributed the ball well for them."
The Braves opened the second half more aggressive and recorded six shots, including a nice set piece for a goal to avoid being shut out.
With a free kick about 30 yards out, Seth Burk booted a high shot to the far side of the goal box. Shikellamy sophomore Brenden Stepp was right where he needed to be, jumping up and heading a beautiful ball to the far post past McWilliams to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 24:53 to play.
"He came back (to team this year) and he stepped on and hasn't missed a beat," Steese said. "Our set plays are still pretty dangerous for us. That one called up for a ball to far side and (Stepp) put it away."
About two minutes after Stepp's goal, Shikellamy had another great look when the Braves fired a shot that hit off the right upright of the goal and bounced out of bounds.
Warrior Run peppered Shikellamy's goal in the first half, recording seven shots, all but one coming from inside the 18. George had three shots in the half, including one inside the goal box, but was held without one in the second half.
"I think having a two-goal lead certainly helps you relax a little bit in the sense that you have that one-goal cushion, but, by the same token, you can't go to sleep and nurse that 2-0 lead, which is what I think we unfortunately did," Bastian said.
The Defenders nearly netted a third goal halfway through the first half when George and Konnor Sidler each had great looks from inside the goal box. George's shot bounced off Engle, and when Sidler went to fire the loose ball to the near post away from Engle, a Shikellamy defender happened to boot it away to avoid a big goal.