By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | October 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy The Home Page Network
In a rare home post-season game the Wellsboro Boys Soccer team scored a 3-1 win over Loyalsock to open up the 2020 District IV Class AA quarterfinals on Thursday, October 29.
The Hornets scored all three of their goals in the first half.
"I'm glad we got a cushion early because we did struggle there a bit in the second half," Hornet head coach Todd Fitch said. "To come out with the result at home is certainly a neat thing."
It took the Hornets just over four minutes into the game as senior Kaeden Mann took advantage of a Lancer defensive breakdown for an unassisted goal to put Wellsboro up 1-0. Five minutes later the Hornets increased their lead as sophomore Sam Rudy cleaned up a direct kick by senior Will Poirier to make it a 2-0 game.
"I'm very pleased with how the team played," continued Fitch. "That's one of the things I said to them. When you move forward in the post season it's a full 80 minute game. It took everybody. Ethan Ryan was outstanding in goal and our defense held together. We struggled a little bit when we weren't attacking and they held together. I think our lead allowed us to keep our poise when things weren't going our way and they were able to get the result."
Mann scored the Hornets' final goal with 23:12 remaining in the first half as he converted a Poirier corner kick, putting Wellsboro up 3-0, a lead that they would take into halftime.
Loyalsock went on the offensive in the second half and scored a goal just under eight minutes in to cut the lead to 3-1, but the Hornet defense held and maintained the two-goal advantage to secure the win.
Wellsboro took 10 shots on goal to the Lancers' 5 and had an 11-3 advantage in corner kicks. Ryan recorded 3 saves in net and allowed one goal.
Next up for the Hornets is a date with Midd-West, 8-0 winners over Milton, at a date and time to be determined.
"We have to play a full 80 minutes and we have to keep pressure on the ball," concluded Fitch. "They are a perennial power in District IV so we have to be ready to play and key on their strengths and neutralize them."