GLEN ROCK -- The Dallastown boys' soccer team found out Thursday night that it isn't how many opportunities that you get, it's what you do with them that really matters.
Playing for their third-straight York-Adams League Tournament crown, the Wildcats were attempting to beat a South Western side that they had defeated twice already in the regular season.
While Coach Jim Reinalda's team outshot the Mustangs by a healthy 9-5 clip and led by a 6-2 margin in corner kicks, Reinalda summed up the difference in his team's disappointing 2-1 loss to South Western at Susquehannock High School.
"They took advantage of the opportunities that they had," Reinalda said.
Nothing exemplified that statement more than what turned out to be the game-winning tally with 4:20 left in regulation. The Mustangs, who hadn't earned a single corner kick up to that point, finally got their first crack at it and made the most of it. Scott Hess drilled the ball into the center of the box, where Lucas Small was able to get a head on it.
The ball seemed destined to loft over the crossbar, but the pace of it was such that it fell just under the bar and into the back of the net.
"I honestly thought that it was going over," said Small, who is one of the taller Mustangs at 6-feet, 1-inch.
South Western coach Clayton Wilcox, who shaved his head to a Mohawk after the Mustangs upset previously unbeaten York Suburban in the tournament's first round, couldn't believe what happened.
"That was remarkable," he said. "Dallastown had just tied the game and I thought we were going to overtime."
The Wildcats rallied from a 1-0 deficit at halftime when Ben Doorn converted on a header off a deflection of a corner kick with 11:18 left in the contest. Doorn nearly had a go-ahead tally just a few minutes later on a similar corner play, but the Mustangs' Nick Klecker got a foot on the redirect to preserve the tie.
"That was just an awesome play by him," Small said. "And Adam (Alton), our goalkeeper ... he's just an amazing goalkeeper."
Alton made several big stops. Perhaps the biggest one came with 13:15 left in the first half when he deflected a good chance from the Wildcats' Jonathan Dadeboe.
The South Western keeper was also helped out by the post early in the contest when Brent Batory's rebound attempt clanked off the iron.
The Mustangs, a team that finished third in the Division I regular-season standings behind Dallastown and Central, took the lead midway through the first half after a nice display of pin-point passing. Small drove up the right side of the field before sending a crossing pass that found Justin Zinneman, who directed the ball past Dallastown goalie Tyler Urbaniak.
Now that South Western has won the program's first-ever league title, the next goal is to follow a similar path into the District 3 Class AAA playoffs. The Mustangs earned the No. 15 seed in the 20-team draw, but Small, for one, feels that his team shouldn't be considered an underdog to anyone anymore.
"This team has so much heart," he said. "I don't count (Thursday's win) as an upset. Like our coach says, 'we're just as good as anybody else.' We made it here and we knew what we had to do."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.