DANVILLE — An element that sets the Lewisburg Green Dragons apart in its style of soccer is the ability to make adjustments on the fly during the heat of a game.
“We’ve had a lot of teams try to play us differently over the course of the season,” said Green Dragon coach Ben Kettlewell. “That’s helped us take those lessons learned against each team and use them as teaching moments.”
Lewisburg (21-0-1) used those lessons learned and took Wyoming Seminary to school, getting a pair of goals from Ben Liscum and generating 18 total shots in a dominating 4-0 triumph in the PIAA Class 2A boys soccer tournament opening round Tuesday evening at Danville High School.
During the game, Liscum said he noticed a possible crack in the Wyoming Seminary defense if he moved to the wing.
“Ben picked up that they were man marking him at midfield, and we gave it about 10 minutes to wear their energy (out of halftime),” Kettlewell said. “Two minutes after we moved him outside, he scored a goal.”
Liscum’s second tally, a full-out sprint to the net which ended with his shot past Blue Knight goalie Gavin Flanley, put Lewisburg ahead 3-0.
“That’s a tribute to the coaches believing in their players,” Liscum said. “Having that communication with coaches and two sets of eyes on things really helps.”
No matter what District 2 champion Wyoming Seminary (15-2) tried early on, Lewisburg had an answer. The Dragons put the Knights under constant pressure from the start, as Liscum and Eli Adams each found the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage 12 minutes into the game.
“We tried to open it up and take control of the game,” Kettlewell said. “We knew we had to stay in front of their best players and keep them contained.”
Seminary senior Reggie Grayek did generate a few laser shots in the second half, each turned away by Dragon keeper Anthony Burns, whose three saves all came in the second half.
Lewisburg outshot Wyoming Seminary, 18-5, and held the Blue Knights without a shot for the first 32:57 of the contest until a Grayek free kick sailed just over the host’s net.
Alan Daniel’s penalty kick with 20:43 left in the game provided the final Lewisburg score and margin.
“We have five or six guys who can get on the scoresheet for us,” Liscum said. “That’s huge. Coach says this is the deepest team we’ve ever had. Our 20th guy could probably come off the bench and bury a game-winner for us. We just have that ‘next man up’ mentality.”
The Green Dragons now advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round opposite District 12 rep Lansdale Catholic, a 1-1 (4-3) winner over Lancaster Mennonite via penalty kicks.
PIAA Class AA Boys’ Soccer First Round
at Danville H.S.
LEWISBURG 4, WYOMING SEMINARY 0
L-Ben Liscum (Carter Hoover), 32:41; L-Eli Adams (Nicholas Passanti), 28:05.
L-Liscum, 27:25; L-Alan Daniel (penalty kick), 20:43.
Shots: Lewisburg 18-5. Corners: Lewisburg 9-1. Saves: Wyoming Seminary (Gavin Flanley 9), Lewisburg (Anthony Burns 3).