FREDERICKSBURG – Since an expectation-filled beginning, the Northern Lebanon boys’ soccer team has experienced an uneven fall campaign. Some outcomes have fallen the Vikings’ way, many have not.
But Northern Lebanon has not yet lost hope.
On a sun-drenched Monday evening on Northern Lebanon’s brand-new turf field, the Vikings’ hope took another hit, from a 3-0 home loss to Lancaster Catholic. Northern Lebanon was right there with the Crusaders early in the second half, before Lancaster Catholic put away two quick chances to put the Vikings away.
With the result, Northern Lebanon slipped to 4-9 on the season. After dropping its first seven contest to open the year, the Vikings had reeled off fourth straight triumphs.
With a handful of games remaining on its schedule, Northern Lebanon was situated 26th in the District Three Class AAA power rankings. Class AAA takes the top 16 finishers for its upcoming postseason tournament.
Lancaster Catholic improved to 8-5 overall and 5-2 in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
“Districts are always a possibility coming into every year,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Brooks Tomazin. “I still think if we win out we might be fine. But we’ve got to win them all. We’ve got to win out if we’re going to make it.
“One of our goals was to be competitive in the section (Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League), which we have been,” continued Tomazin. “We knew the section was kind of open. The other coaches have to take us seriously. We’re a solid team. We can be strong with the ball when we want to.”
Nineteen minutes into the match, Lancaster Catholic grabbed a 1-0 lead.
From the middle of the pitch, Crusader senior Jack Engle possessed the ball going hard to his right. With his right foot, Engle struck a hard ball across his body and along the turf that beat Viking netminder Sean Williams inside the left post.
“We were solid defensively most of the game,” said Tomazin. “We did well winning balls in dangerous areas. They (the Crusaders) got a couple of opportunities, but we weren’t on our heels the whole game.
“Overall, I thought we played alright,” Tomazin continued. “We had some opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them. We had our lapses in the back and they hurt us.”
Early in the second half, the outcome was still very much in doubt, before Lancaster Catholic recorded a pair of goals in less than a minute.
First, a ball was played from the right of the pitch to the middle, where Diego Garcia used a quick touch and his right foot to bounce the ball in off the crossbar. Then, off a left-side corner kick, the Crusaders made it 3-0 from the right post, into the short side of the goal.
“We didn’t have as many opportunities as them,” said Tomazin of the Crusaders. “We were OK in the midfield, but we struggled in the final third. We emphasize to Simon’s (Grimes) teammates to create things. We need to take more opportunities.
“We’re trying to get the ball to Simon and make runs off of him,” added Tomazin. “He’s a talented player and we want the ball at his feet. But we have other guys who are talented too. There are ten players on the field for a reason.”
The Vikings didn’t register their first shot on goal until the early moments of the second half.
With 19:42 remaining and Northern Lebanon down three goals, Grimes was awarded a penalty kick after being tripped in the box. But his big right foot clanged off the middle of the crossbar.
In the final analysis, Lancaster Catholic out shot Northern Lebanon 15-4. The Vikings enjoyed a slight 6-5 edge in corner kicks.
“He’s getting other teams’ attention,” said Tomzain of Grimes. “He faces single-teams and double-teams. He’s definitely a focal point for other teams.
“Our season’s been up and down,” Tomazin added. “After a tough start, we had some momentum, but we were unable to build off of it. Then, unfortunately, we lost the momentum. We’ve been having trouble scoring goals.”
|2021-09-07||H||vs||Lancaster Country Day School(3)||L||1-2|
|2021-09-17||A||vs||J P McCaskey(3)||L||0-6|
|2021-09-20||P||vs||Bishop McDevitt (3)(3)||0-0|
|2021-09-25||A||vs||Lancaster Country Day School(3)||W||2-0|
|2021-10-08||H||vs||Central Dauphin East(3)||0-0|
|19||Eastern Lebanon County||6-||6-||1||0.508614||0.517606||0.497624||7.35||115.20||6.85||116.30|
|21||Bishop McDevitt (3)||5-||4-||1||0.490544||0.542105||0.427524||5.15||75.80||4.35||101.50|