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BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – It may be a bit trite and a lot obvious to say that the Northern Lebanon and Lebanon boys’ soccer teams both needed a win.

It also might be prudent to point out that the true definition of success is open to interpretation. Because sometimes positivity can be construed as the absence of a negative.

On a breezy Wednesday afternoon at Lebanon High School, both the Vikings and Cedars uncovered plenty of positives in a 2-2, Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four overtime draw. Not only did the result signal a step forward for each side, the deadlock was also very representative of the evenly-matched nature of the play.

Northern Lebanon forced the tie with 4:48 left in regulation, on John Moore’s second goal of the game. Despite the fact that the Cedars enjoyed the better of the play in OT, neither team could come up with the decisive goal during the two ten-minute extra sessions.

The outcome made Lebanon 2-3-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the section. The Vikings improved to 0-4-1 on the year and 0-3-1 in the section.

“This is a good result for us,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Brooks Tomazin. “We’re happy to put two in the back of the net. We’ve been playing hard this season, and I don’t think the results have shown that.

“They’re all important,” Tomazin added. “We’re looking for our first victory. We’ve been putting emphasis on that.”

“I thought we played well,” said Lebanon head coach Andy Dornes. “I thought we controlled the game. We did a lot of things we worked on in practice. Unfortunately, we just lacked a little finish.

“It’s a section game,” added Dornes. “They’re all important for us. Against Northern Lebanon last year, we didn’t have good results, so we kind of wanted to make up for that. Plus it’s a local rivalry.”

The match was also tied at the intermission, until 14:33 into the second half, when sophomore Luis Barrios gave Lebanon a 2-1 edge, with a hustling individual effort from the left side of the pitch. Barrios eluded a Viking defender, took a second touch and then slid the ball along the ground with his right foot inside the far post.

It took Moore 20 minutes to respond for Northern Lebanon. Off a 25-yard direct kick, Moore beat Lebanon goalie Dylan Reeves to the upper right-hand portion of the net.

“I think it’s a fair result,” said Dornes. “Having said that, we should’ve finished some opportunities in overtime. It was an even match.

“I thought we generated a ton of offense,” continued Dornes. “We were able to get behind them with passing combinations. I was pleased with our offensive push.”

“It was an even game,” said Tomazin. “We both had opportunities to put it in the net, and both teams had opportunities to stop goals. Both teams could’ve walked away with a win. It’s a good Lebanon squad.

“I think today, when we worked together, we were successful (offensively),” Tomazin continued. “We put two goals in, which we hadn’t done in a couple of games. We have talent in the attacking third. The goals are coming.”

The Cedars also tallied the contest’s first goal, 21:08 into it, when senior Josue Merida set up sophomore Braulio Reyes. Merida did an admirable job of saving a ball that appeared to be going out of bounds, and in one motion served a hard cross to the trailing Reyes, who sent a right-footer inside the left post.

But 5:19 before halftime, the Cedars were whistled for a foul inside the box, Northern Lebanon was awarded a penalty kick and Moore made them pay. Moore beat Reeves high inside the left post with his right foot.

“They’re a strong squad,” said Tomazin of the Cedars. “They’ve got speed up top. They have three players in the midfield who can distribute. And their backline is solid at getting the ball out. Our section is pretty even, from top to bottom. Every game has been fairly even.

“It’s tough to say what our expectations were at the beginning of the season,” continued Tomazin. “We’re off pace with our goals. But it’s a good group of kids who haven’t quit all year.”

“I think they like to play off their center forward a lot,” said Dornes of the Vikings. “He’s a big strong guy. But I thought our center backs did a good job of keeping him under control.

“The expectation coming into the season was to be competitive,” Dornes continued. “I think this team is a year away. We’re getting there, but the expectation is to develop some consistency and to play mistake-free soccer. The program isn’t used to winning, so getting the results are important.”

In the two overtime periods, Lebanon out shot Northern Lebanon 6-1. On the final stat sheet, the Cedars held a 17-14 edge in shots and a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.

“I think the biggest challenge has been having the reduced off-season, the restrictions and not having the preseason,” said Dornes. “But I thought the boys showed up in some of the best shape I’ve seen them in. Now it becomes a matter of execution.

“The goal going forward is just staying competitive and consistent,” added Dornes. “We get all of our section opponents one more time, and I’m looking for us to pick up victories in some of our non-league games.”

“This was the halfway point of our season,” said Tomazin. “I think we’re all very happy just to be playing. We didn’t know if we were going to make it this far. I tell the kids that you never know when we’re going to get shut down.

“We’d like to get some wins,” Tomazin added. “These kids deserve wins. They’ve been fighting hard. They’re great kids and they’re going to win. I think this tie can propel us to a different second half of the season.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2020 Northern Lebanon Boys’ Soccer Schedule

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/22
4:00 pm
Tulpehocken
at Northern Lebanon
4
0

Nonleague
9/24
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
0
2

League
9/29
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Conrad Weiser

Nonleague
9/30
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
0
5

League
10/05
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
3
2

League
10/07
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon

League
10/09
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/12
7:00 pm
Central Dauphin East
at Northern Lebanon

Nonleague
10/14
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/16
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

League
10/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/23
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal

Nonleague

2020 Lebanon Boys’ Soccer Schedule

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/24
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon
6
1

League
9/26
10:00 am
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
3
1

Nonleague
9/28
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
2
5

League
9/30
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
4
0

League
10/01
4:00 pm
New Covenant Christian
at Lebanon
2
5

Nonleague
10/07
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon

League
10/09
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic

League
10/10
12:00 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey

Nonleague
10/12
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon

League
10/14
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

League
10/16
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon

Nonleague
10/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon

League
10/22
4:00 pm
Solanco
at Lebanon

Nonleague

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Four Standings

LeagueOverall
WLTPCTWLTPCTGSGA
Lancaster Catholic4001.0004100.800165
Pequea Valley2100.6673100.750124
Annville-Cleona2100.6672100.66785
Lebanon0310.1252310.4171320
Northern Lebanon0310.1250410.100416

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