HEPBURNVILLE - This season the Midd-West boys soccer team has shown flashes of brilliance, as evidenced by an honorable mention in the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association small school poll, and then - well - sometimes it hasn't.
Midd-West coach Chris Sauers said the Mustangs had both teams on display Saturday in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinal matchup against Warrior Run. And unfortunately for the boys in black, it was a team somewhat back on its heels that finished the game for the Mustangs.
As a result Warrior Run defeated Midd-West, 2-1. Warrior Run advanced to Tuesday's district semifinal scheduled for 5 p.m. at Loyalsock where it will meet No. 2 seed Central Columbia. The Mustangs end their season 13-6.
Sentinel photo by BARB?KROHN
Midd-West’s Chris Sheaffer, left, knocks the ball away from Warrior Run’s Zach Miller Saturday in Hepburnville during the District 4 Class AA boys soccer quarterfinals. Warrior Run defeated Midd-West, 2-1.
"We had a really good 20 minutes in the first half," Sauers said. "We owned that half."
Midd-West was mostly winning 50-50 balls, dominating particularly in the air.
The Mustangs shelled Defenders goalie Jason McWilliams with 11 shots and earned six corner kicks.
It was on one of those corners that sophomore Sebastian Callender finally struck paydirt for Midd-West.
McWilliams came out trying to punch the ball away but missed and Callender was able to connect on the ball bouncing around in the box with 10 minutes left in the half.
But as happy as Sauers was with his team, Warrior Run coach Doug Bastian was as unhappy with his.
"They weren't playing the game we play," said the Defenders coach.
In the second half, the Defenders came out as a team that was much quicker to the ball and sure of itself.
Konor Sidler evened the game up less than four minutes after the intermission and Elias George got a pretty ball from Zach Miller with just under 15 minutes left to play in regulation for the go-ahead goal.
The Mustangs had a couple of opportunities most notably a one-on-one with McWilliams that was skied over the crossbar.
"The difference between (our good half and their good half) is we didn't put the ball in the goal," said Sauers. "We didn't do our job at pretty important times.
"It's disappointing. We were happy with our draw and happy with our matchups," Sauers said. "The (difference) between the first half and the second was our season in a nutshell."