Pen Argyl eliminates Tamaqua
Wyatt Zeigler of Tamaqua tries to pass the ball while trying to block it is Pen Argyl’s David Eibeck. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
An aggressive start for Pen Argyl proved pivotal against Tamaqua in a District 11 Class 2A boys soccer game on Wednesday.
The Green Knight got two first half goals and held on to defeat the Raiders 2-1 in a game played at Tamaqua.
The win means that Pen Argyl advances to the semifinals and will play top-seeded Jim Thorpe.
For Tamaqua, it means the end of its season.
The Raiders came out fired up in the second half but some spectacular saves by goalkeeper Graham Rose prevented the Tams from fully coming back.
In the second half, junior Justin Lewis scored the only goal for the Blue Raiders with 33:00 showing on the clock.
Moments later, the Raiders came very close to tying the game when Michael Schlanta was fouled and given a free kick. The boot was perfect, going past the Pen Argyl wall and seemed like it was bound straight for the back of the net.
But Rose made a diving stop of the ball and kept the score at 2-1..
Because they started the second half with an impervious intensity, Coach Greg Sheeler was asked what he said at the half to inspire them.
“I didn’t have to say anything,” he said. “The knew what they had to do.”
The difference in play was reflected in the stats. In the first half, Pen Argyl had 11 shots on goal compared to only four for Tamaqua.
In the second half, Tamaqua had 11 shots while the Green Knights had only four.
Pen Argyl coach Nevin Smith said he was pleased with his team’s performance. “Both teams are evenly matched and we were fortunate to come out on top,” he said.
Much of the first half was played in Tamaqua territory.
The first goal PA goal was scored by Nathan Stocker and the second one came when Dawson Frable knocked home a rebound.
In the second half, Rose make sever diving deflections of Tamaqua shots to keep the ball out of the net.
“I’m proud of this team,” Sheeler said. “I have a good group of juniors and I’m proud of their efforts tonight.”
NO HALLOWEEN HAVOC ... The boys soccer game at Tamaqua was the first of a doubleheader. The second featured Tamaqua girls against Pine Grove. The town’s large Halloween Parade was moved from Tuesday night to Wednesday because of heavy rain on Tuesday. Because the boys game started an hour before the start of the parade, the visiting team had no interference getting to the events.
SHOT MAKER ... Tyler Steigerwalt led Tamaqua with six shots.