The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 20, 2012

High School Soccer: Selinsgrove 'seals' a victory in Danville

SUNBURY — DANVILLE -- Chris Lupolt issued a halftime challenge to David Aurand encouraging his senior forward to get more aggressive against the Danville defense. His words did not fall on deaf ears.

The Selinsgrove scoring machine was “Johnny on the spot’ following a sliding save by goalie Chris Dempsey that left a loose ball right in front of the goal mouth and Aurand easily tapped in the loose ball to break a 1-1 tie and lead the undefeated Seals past the Ironmen, 2-1, Wednesday in Heartland Conference Division I boys soccer action at Ironmen Stadium.

“I told him we needed to get more aggressive as a team and he should be ready to go all out,” Selinsgrove coach Lupolt said. “I felt we could do more and it was important to get out of the middle of the field and to the wings where we could take advantage more of our quickness. Dave is always working hard and his willingness to stay with the play resulted in a big goal that helped us win the match.”

With the score deadlocked at 1-1, the Seals worked their way downfield and peppered Dempsey with a pair of shots the second of which the Ironmen stalwart came out on and managed to stop but not totally clear away and Aurand, who is on pace to finish as one of Selinsgrove’s Top 10 all-time goal scorers, found himself in perfect position to tap in the blocked ball for the go-ahead tally.

“Dempsey is probably the best goalie in the conference and he made a great play on the attempt,” Lupolt said. “Aurand was rewarded for not giving up on the play.

“Our players were really motivated to go up against him because they know scoring against him means they really earned it against the best.”

Statistically speaking the first half was practically even with the scoreboard reading zeroes and the Seals holding an edge corner kicks, 6-3, and the Ironmen on top in shots on goal, 4-3, but the veteran Seals’ mentor felt the Ironmen were the better team the first 40 minutes.

“Danville started out on fire and took it to us while we were back on our heels,” Lupolt said. “It took us awhile before we started passing the ball better but we had to make some adjustments at the break.”

The Seals broke the ice at the 35:15 mark of the second half when Kyle Davies managed to squeeze in a shot into the left corner of the goal over the outstretched arms of Dempsey for a 1-0 lead. However, the advantage was short-lived as junior Brody Mahaffy took a rebound shot and drilled it past Travis Petrich with 31:05 left in the match leaving the tally tied until Aurand’s game-winner with 16:58 left.

“We had a couple of early opportunities in the first half but couldn’t cash in,” Danville head coach Brian Dressler said. “Give our players credit they scored in the second half and we responded minutes later to tie the score.

“Selinsgrove is a much-improved team and I knew we would be in for a tough match. It was back-and-forth and one bounce either wy and you might have had a different story but they played very well.”

The Ironmen had a great opportunity to possible forge another tie but Petrich came out of nowhere to somehow knock the shot away and preserve the Seals’ lead.

“They beat us 5-1 in the last match of the season last year,” Lupolt said. “We let them know it.”

Selinsgrove (7-0) returns to play Saturday at Hughesville and Danville, which fell from the ranks of the unbeaten (4-1-1), returns to play Monday against Mifflinburg.

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