---- — By Todd Stanford
The Daily Item
HUGHESVILLE -- There was no drama this year.
Nope, it was just another dominating performance from Lewisburg. And another District 4 championship.
Just a year after needing overtime to claim district gold, the Green Dragons captured their seventh District 4 title in program history Saturday night. Leander Cortolezis and Brady Ferster each scored in a 2-0 victory over Central Columbia in the Class AA final at Raymond H. Perritt Stadium.
"This is a tight group, just like last year's," Lewisburg coach Shawn Callender said. "They wanted to take it upon themselves … to make sure they continued the tradition."
The Green Dragons (17-3-1), seeded third in this tournament, will meet Scranton Prep in the first round of states Tuesday somewhere in District 2 at a time to be announced.
Top-seeded Central Columbia ends its season at 16-2-1.
"They were strong," Blue Jays coach Pat Holman said of the Green Dragons. "It was a hard-fought game. … We should have put one or two in. We didn't, and that's the way soccer goes."
Lewisburg has won six district crowns in the last eight years. Counting their first district gold in 1989, the Green Dragons now have seven, as they moved ahead of Southern Columbia on the all-time list Saturday. Lewisburg still trails Middleburg (12 championships), West Snyder (10), Selinsgrove (9) and Millville and Benton (8 each) on the all-time District 4 championship list for boys soccer.
"I think that says a lot about the (coaches) before me, Pete Ellis and Justin Dively," said Callender, who's been at the helm for the last two district crowns. "And we've got good kids, we've got good parents. It makes my job a little bit easier."
Saturday's win gave senior Christian Gallagher the PIAA record for shutouts by a male goalkeeper. Gallagher, who had four saves Saturday to earn his third clean sheet of the playoffs, now has 51 career shutouts.
"It means that I've had a great team in front of me for the past four years," Gallagher said, "and a great defensive line."
The Green Dragons scored just five minutes into the game. After a scramble in the box, Cortolezis booted the ball under the foot of Blue Jays keeper Kyle Moroney for a 1-0 lead.
"We wanted to come out strong and apply some pressure to them," Callender said. "I think we did that."
That's the way it stayed until the 53rd minute. Bronson Ferster put a corner kick to the far post, and his brother Brady Ferster was there to head it in.
The ball appeared to land inside the goal line, but the Central players disputed the call.
"My boys said it never went in," Holman said. "It was deflating. But when you look at it, we really didn't have much at their goal the whole night."