MILLERSTOWN - Greenwood's boys soccer squad started the defense of its District 3 Class A championship with a solid 2-0 home-field quarterfinal win against a talented but outmanned Lititz Christian squad Saturday.
After stalemating the visitors for the first 40 minutes, Greenwood dominated the second half, outshooting the Eagles 13-0 after the break. Overall the Wildcats out-shot their guests 22-5.
"Our pressure just took its toll eventually (on Lititz Christian)," Greenwood coach Tom Magill said. "We just kept moving the ball and wore them down. We didn't do anything spectacular; we ground them down by running fresh bodies at them. Our bench did a great job in the second half."
Sentinel photo by LARRY?YOHN
Greenwood’s Hunter Wirth, front, shields a Lititz Christian player from the ball during Greenwood’s 2-0 win Saturday in Millerstown in the District 3 Class A boys soccer quarterfinals.
Both goals came in the second half courtesy of the foot of junior Hunter Miller.
"Miller was relentless on that left side," Magill said. "The fact he got the goals was pretty cool. He definitely has the work ethic to just keep grinding and grinding. I was quite happy with the effort."
The first goal came with 23:59 to go in regulation and was assisted by senior Corey Losch.
The clincher came with just 30 seconds to go and was unassisted and the result of a breakaway.
"Eventually we started creating big gaps between the center back and the outside back, but we weren't fully exploiting it," Magill said. "I would have liked to have had (senior Hunter) Wirth pushed up and get in that gap. (Sophomore Ardik) Woodard (who was making his first varsity start) and (senior Tyler) Fegley got there once."
Early on the Eagles had a golden opportunity to jump in front when Samuel Bernhardt had what appeared to be a clean path to the goal, but junior Abbey Korber hustled back on defense to break up the play.
"Korber did a nice job tonight," Magill said. "She didn't get back on that, I don't know were (senior Garrett) Byers was, and make the play we would have been down 1-0."
Seniors Corey Losch and Lucas Grimm also delivered solid defensive performances for the Wildcats as they repeatedly challenged and repelled Eagle advances.
Greenwood appeared to have scored with about two minutes to play off a corner kick, but a whistle stopped play first.
Early in the second half Wirth stopped a deep incursion into Wildcat territory and a few minutes later Losch made a nifty steal on a potential breakaway to preserve the 0-0 tie at that point.
It was the Eagles' last hurrah as they were not able to mount a serious threat the rest of the way and Miller's goals allowed Greenwood to advance.
Sophomore goalie Eric Freas had a solid performance in the loss for Lititz Christian, recording 22 saves.
"Only having 15 guys on the roster hurt us - particularly in the second half," Lititz Christian coach Eric Lewis said. "Greenwood's experience (as defending district champs) really shown through as well. They just coming at us. They are a very deep talented team."
Greenwood advances to the district semifinals on Tuesday, where it will face Biglerville in a rematch of last year's District 3 championship game. The game, which will be played at Eagle View Middle School in Mechanicsburg, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.