GLEN ROCK -- The game ultimately came down to two kicks at the goal, one on each end of the field.
They were similar in placement. And each came off the right foot of the player making the shot. But each had different outcomes.
Susquehannock senior forward Nathan Bilbie was responsible for the first one, when he shook off a defender by faking to his left, dribbling back to his right and firing a shot from about 15 yards from the goal. The shot came from the left side of the field toward the left side of the net, squeezing it between the post and the outstretched arms of Hamburg goalie Tyler Seidel (five saves).
It marked the first goal of a first-round District 3-AA boys' soccer game under the lights Monday night in Glen Rock to give the No. 8 seed Warriors a one-score advantage over No. 9 Hamburg with 29 minutes and 29 seconds remaining.
The second kick came on the other end seven minutes later. Hamburg senior forward Austin Freeman, a Lebanon Valley College recruit, dribbled past a defender and sent a laser toward the right side of the net, that Warriors' senior keeper Mike Jones somehow dove in front of for the stop. It was one of his seven saves on the night, but ended up being the most important.
"That's the game right there," Susquehannock coach Brett Maxwell said. "If they put that in the back of the net we probably don't score that second goal. They (Hamburg) would probably get the momentum and we might end up losing this game."
The Warriors added an insurance goal with 14:08 to play when junior midfielder Andrew Sweigard scored off a pass from junior Duncan Mitchell.
Susquehannock pulled out the 2-0 win over Hamburg to become the first Warriors team since 2009 to win a district playoff game.
Players celebrated by emptying the water cooler on Maxwell, dousing his long-sleeve shirt to add a chill to the already-cool temperatures that hovered in the high 50s throughout the night. Other than that, though, the Warriors (13-5-2) didn't make much of Monday's win, instead looking ahead to Thursday's matchup against top-seeded Gettysburg (16-1), which defeated No. 16 Boiling Springs on Monday, 2-0.
"Next round against Gettysburg, I think it's definitely winnable," Bilbie said. "We think ... our coaches and the rest of our team ... we're confident we can pull it out."
It was that confidence that got the Warriors in a little trouble to start Monday's game. Hamburg (14-6), the Berks League Division II runner-up, controlled possession in the first 10 minutes and outshot Susquehannock in the first half, 4-2.
"We came in a little over-confident, to be honest. We were looking toward Thursday," Maxwell said. "We didn't know a lot about Hamburg, but we were looking forward to Gettysburg because they're the No. 1 seed. And we took them (Hamburg) for granted."
A year ago, Gettysburg was the tournament's top seed but lost in the quarterfinal round to No. 8 seed Greencastle-Antrim. Susquehannock will now aim to make that happen for a second year in a row on Thursday at Spring Grove High School. The time has yet to be determined.
"That's what we've been talking about all week," Maxwell said. "We think we can play with anybody. Everyone in this tournament is a quality team. We saw that (Monday) with Hamburg. But we think we can play with anybody."
OTHER BOYS' SOCCER
FLEETWOOD 2, YORK SUBURBAN 0: At Fleetwood, David Brubaker made 10 saves in a losing effort for the 12th-seeded Trojans in a District 3-AA first-round contest. Suburban finished at 10-6-3, while fifth-seeded Fleetwood improved to 13-4-2. Keaton Moyer had to make just one save for Fleetwood to record the shutout.
LANCASTER MENNONITE 2, NORTHEASTERN 0: At Lancaster, the Bobcats couldn't hit the back of the net against the third-seeded Blazers in a District 3-AA first-round contest. Devin Soop had nine saves in a losing cause. Northeastern finished at 10-7-2, while Lancaster Mennonite improved to 18-3-0.
--Reach John Walk at email@example.com.