BOYS SOCCER: Already qualified for playoffs, Dragons win region game
Warren wrapped up its home schedule with a 4-0 senior night victory over Corry on Wednesday at War Memorial Field.
The Dragons finish Region 4 play with a 5-2-1 record, good for second place. Because region winner Bradford is part of District 9, Warren has locked up an automatic District 10 playoff berth. The team has now made the playoffs in every season since 1996, when it first joined a league. In fact, this is just the second season in which Warren did not win at least a share of its league.
Even though the game was not a must-win for Warren, coach Tom Harrington said it was “still a big win.”
Warren nearly notched the first goal of the game just eight minutes in, when the ball found its way past the Corry goalkeeper Freddie Steffan, but a Beavers defender was able to clear it off the goal line at the last possible second.
Finally, after 28 scoreless minutes, the Dragons found the back of the net. Quinn Boger fired a low shot that was saved, but Austin Goldthwaite was waiting in front of the net to tap in the rebound. Warren kept the pressure on through the remainder of the half, and Ryan Gustafson was able to add a second goal with just over a minute remaining when he back-heeled a ball into the net. Goldthwaite recorded the assist.
The Dragons continued to control possession in the second half, and Quinn Boger was able to find his brother Tristen wide open in front of the net to increase the lead to 3-0. Goldthwaite added his second goal of the game with nine minutes remaining, with Jason Stanton registering the assist.
Warren dominated possession while outshooting the Beavers, 33-11. Goalkeeper Clark Eason made 10 saves while recording his third shutout of the season.
“I’m really happy with the way we played,” Harrington said. “We came out a little slow, but our passing got better as the game went on. I was able to get all of our seniors in. Austin got two goals and an assist, and was the player of the game.”
The Dragons (5-8-1 overall) will travel to Fairview and McDowell next week for their final two games before playoffs begin.
North East 5, Eisenhower 0
NORTH EAST-The Eisenhower Knights boys soccer team fell to 5-9-1 on the year with a 5-0 loss against a tough North East Grapepickers team on Wednesday afternoon.
“We actually had a pretty good showing. The guys came out strong, it was a pretty open game early on,” said Eisenhower coach Matt Decker. “We gave them three gift goals. Overall, it was a strong effort, but against a team like North East you have to play mistake free and we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. Other than that, though, the guys hung tough with them.”
The Grapepickers’ first goal came 22 minutes into the first half, and five minutes later an Eisenhower hand ball in the box gave North East a penalty kick, which was converted for a 2-0 lead going into the break.
North East scored again when a ball was mishandled near the Knights’ goal, and once more when goalkeeper Alex Johnson and Levi Hendrickson collided, leaving the Grapepickers with another easy score.
The home team put one more on the board late in the game, and the Knights were unable to net one themselves as they fall to 2-7-1 in Region 3.
Johnson finished the day with seven saves as Ike was outshot, 12-3. Decker also noted the defensive play of Hendrickson and Michael Spencer as well as Josh Eernisse and Casey Vincent on attack.
The Knights finish their season on Saturday, when they host Smethport at Eisenhower High School.