ROHRERSTOWN – Opportunistic and unselfish aren’t necessarily complementary words, adjectives not usually associated with one another. But the success of the New Covenant boys’ soccer team this season has been predicated on just the right amount of each.
On an overcast Tuesday evening at Hope Born in Christ Church, the Flames were again both unselfish and opportunistic, during a 2-1 double-overtime triumph over Dayspring Christian. After New Covenant had dominated most of the action during regulation, it took a corner collaboration for the Flames to emerge with a road victory.
Some 2:10 into the second ten-minute, sudden victory period, New Covenant sophomore James Fisher unleashed a right corner kick into the middle of the box. Teammate Gabriel Weber did an admirable job of making space for himself before using his chest to guide the ball inside the right post.
“The keys to our success this year have been team work and playing unselfishly,” said New Covenant head coach Jon Klohr. “We only lost one senior from last year’s team and the continuity has just gotten stronger as the season has gone on. These guys put the work in, they go out there and make things happen.
“We had a lot of summer opportunities and coming into this year Coach (assistant Brandon Tilley) and I talked about expectations,” continued Klohr. “We started seeing the continuity and we agreed, ‘Let’s set the goals high. Let’s make the conference (Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference) playoffs and districts.’ Now we’re thinking maybe we can win some (playoff) games and make some noise.”
With the result, New Covenant improved to 11-3 on the fall and all but sewed up a spot in both the CCAC and District Three Class A postseason tournaments. The Flames were situated sixth in the latest District Three Class A power rankings.
The last time New Covenant qualified for the District Three playoffs was 2014.
The loss dropped Dayspring Christian to 10-5-1 on the year.
“We know where we want to hit it,” said Klohr of Fisher’s corner kick. “We had four guys crashing the net. The idea is to get a body part on it. Gabriel (Weber) is a midfielder and a distributor, but he knows the game and he got his chest on it. The defense was there. The play was well-defended.
“We’re having a decent season,” Klohr added. “In the past, we’ve had good teams with great talent who didn’t play as a unit. This team’s playing very well together.”
By creating space, finding feet and moving the ball quickly, New Covenant dominated the first half with ball possession and dangerous chances.
Exactly 19:35 into the contest, the Flames’ pressure paid off in the form of a goal from junior Ben Hartman. The play was set up by a hard cross from the left by teammate Gavin Stoner, and all that was left for Hartman to do was bang the ball into the net.
But despite all of their chances, the Flames only led 1-0 at the break.
“We had plenty of opportunities in the first half,” said Klohr. “We controlled the first half. But most of our shots were on keeper. They (the Warriors) were also cleaning up our shots. The first half was some of our better possessions of the season.
“We played better in the first half. In the second half, we were a little flat,” Klohr continued. “We are usually a fairly strong possession team. But I thought they beat us to a lot of balls in the second half. Once they scored on us, we had to go to more simple ball, back to fundamentals. It was a hard-fought game. Dayspring is known for tough defense.”
Dayspring Christian didn’t generate a ton of opportunities in the second 40 minutes of play, but the Warriors scored on their first shot of the second half to knot the score at one, 16:30 after halftime. Taking a pass from teammate Jordan Rhoads, Micah Lauer got off a good hard right-footer that squirted through New Covenant goalie Lucas Seibert.
“I thought overall we did well defensively,” said Klohr. “We held them to a few scoring chances. Their number-ten (Laurer) was fast, but I thought Thor (Luicas Maure) closed him down pretty good. This has probably been my best defensive team.”
Through the 90-some minutes of play, New Covenant out shot Dayspring Christian 16-4. The Flames posted a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks.
|2021-09-07||A||vs||Harrisburg Christian School(3)||W||3-0|
|2021-09-11||N||vs||Lancaster County Christian(3)||L||3-1|
|2021-09-14||H||vs||Covenant Christian Academy(3)||W||5-0|
|2021-09-17||H||vs||Lancaster Country Day School(3)||W||4-2|
|2021-09-21||H||vs||Mount Calvary Christian School(3)||W||2-0|
|2021-09-24||A||vs||Conestoga Christian School(3)||W||8-0|
|2021-09-28||H||vs||High Point Baptist Academy(3)||L||2-1|
|2021-10-05||H||vs||West Shore Christian Academy(3)||L||4-1|
|2021-10-07||H||vs||Harrisburg Christian School(3)||W||2-1|
|2021-10-12||A||vs||Dayspring Christian Academy(3)||0-0|
|2021-10-15||H||vs||York Country Day School(3)||0-0|
|2021-10-16||H||vs||Christian School Of York(3)||0-0|
|3||High Point Baptist Academy||11-||1-||0||0.649880||0.887755||0.359144||8.70||70.50||1.10||125.80|
|5||West Shore Christian Academy||10-||2-||1||0.589632||0.741228||0.404348||8.45||79.05||2.95||116.45|
|6||New Covenant Christian School||10-||3-||0||0.535797||0.677686||0.362376||8.20||73.20||3.90||128.80|
|7||Mount Calvary Christian School||8-||3-||0||0.506703||0.610526||0.379808||5.80||67.15||3.70||109.65|
|8||Harrisburg Christian School||7-||4-||0||0.464366||0.495146||0.426747||5.10||63.50||5.20||85.30|
|10||Lancaster County Christian||8-||8-||0||0.394134||0.385542||0.404635||6.40||90.80||10.20||133.60|
|11||Lancaster Country Day School||5-||8-||1||0.387869||0.347328||0.437418||4.55||100.30||8.55||129.00|
|15||Christian School Of York||3-||9-||0||0.287965||0.176923||0.423683||2.30||78.00||10.70||106.10|
|17||Conestoga Christian School||2-||9-||0||0.248901||0.108527||0.420469||1.40||66.35||11.50||91.45|
|19||Covenant Christian Academy||0-||12-||0||0.201933||0.000000||0.448739||0.00||81.85||15.00||100.55|
|20||Lititz Christian School||0-||0-||0||0.000000||0.000000||0.000000||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|