When the West York and York Suburban boys' soccer teams get together, it's rare that the game ends in regulation.
And if it wasn't for a fortunate bounce with just more than six minutes left, another overtime game was very possible on Tuesday afternoon when the Bulldogs played host to the Trojans in the York-Adams League Division II opener for both clubs.
With scoring chances at a minimum, all it took was a free kick from more than 60 yards to decide a winner.
If that weren't strange enough, it was none other than West York goalie Darian McCauley who provided the freak scoring play. After a free-kick opportunity was awarded to the Bulldogs just over the midfield line, McCauley lined up with the purpose of giving one of his teammates a chance to redirect his kick into the net.
Instead of that, the ball took a hard hop and skipped past Suburban goalie David Brubaker with 6:25 left on the clock.
McCauley did the rest. The sophomore earned the shutout while compiling 10 saves to help the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory.
"I've had shutouts before but I've never had a game-winning goal," McCauley said. "In fact I've never had a goal from the goalkeeper position. It feels great just coming out here and getting a win."
"I've never seen anything like it," said West York coach Dan Klinedinst, who noted that McCauley also recorded an assist on the game-tying goal in Saturday's 2-2 tie against Hempfield. "He's definitely doing a lot of great things for us so far this year."
That bounce proved disappointing for Suburban coach Tony Kowalewski, who felt his team played well enough to win.
"I said to Dan that I wish it would have been a harder shot," Kowalewski said. "It was kind of a fluke play and my keeper came out, kind of had to backpedal and slipped and away it went. It just took a high hop on him."
The home team earned the first two scoring chances of the contest, including a prime opportunity for Brett Strickler. The junior had a break with a step on his man, but his scoring chance sailed just wide right of the cage.
That seemed to settle down the defending Division II champion Trojans (1-2 overall), who slowly started to reverse momentum as the half progressed. Kowalewski's club nearly got a goal from a Kyle Bulgarelli header late in the half, but a West York defender cleared out the ball at the last moment.
"The guys played well," Kowalewski said. "We weathered the storm a few times and we had a couple of head balls off corners that they cleared. They had guys that cleared off the post twice I think."
Neither side had many good scoring opportunities in the second half. Both Brubaker (nine saves) and McCauley made their saves look ordinary.
The fact that the Bulldogs (1-0-1) were able to score late in the contest shouldn't come as much of a surprise to Klinedinst. West York rallied from a 2-0 hole against Hempfield by scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes.
"They like to give me more gray hairs than I already have," said Klinedinst, the Bulldogs' second-year coach.
While he didn't figure in any of the scoring Tuesday, it was clear that West York freshman Eddie Rodriguez is going to be a difference maker for his club. Rodriguez was able to escape through the Suburban defense on a handful of occasions to set up teammates for scoring opportunities.
The Bulldog midfielder was also the one that ignited the late rally against Hempfield by blocking a clearing attempt by the goalie before getting up and burying a shot for his team's first goal.
"He's had a lot of high-level experience," Klinedinst said. "So we're glad to have him here."
Rodriguez's presence may help West York improve on its second-place finish in Division II in 2012.
The stats indicate the closeness of the contest. Both sides finished with 10 shots, while the Bulldogs earned a slim 6-5 edge in corner kicks.
OTHER BOYS' SOCCER
RED LION 4, SOUTH WESTERN 3: At Hanover, Cameron Gebhart's goal at the 2:14 mark of the second overtime pushed the Lions past the Mustangs. Evan Miller scored two goals for Red Lion, and Gebhart and Zach Neff supplied one goal each. Shane O'Reilly, Scott Hess and Dave Penarrieta connected for South Western's goals. Red Lion goalie Scott Rissler recorded seven saves and was also credited with assists on both of Miller's goals. The Lions led 3-1 at halftime, but the Mustangs rallied with two second-half goals to force overtime.
DALLASTOWN 5, NEW OXFORD 1: At Dallastown, Edward Bills' hat trick highlighted the Wildcats' victory. Bills also had an assist for the Wildcats, and George Dalaperas delivered two goals. Ben Doorn supplied three assists for the winners. Dallastown's defense held New Oxford to two shots on goal.
CENTRAL YORK 8, SPRING GROVE 3: The visiting Panthers led 5-2 at intermission and tacked on three more goals in the second half. Central got two goals from Kyle Smith and one goal each from Royce Clemens (two assists), Erik Rishel (three assists), Andrew Sauers, Trea Watkins, Calvin Luckenbaugh (two assists) and Janson Stoltzfus. Goalie Chris Snowadsky made two saves. Gavin Black scored two goals and teammate Jake Guinn also had a score to pace Spring Grove.
YORK CATHOLIC 3, DELONE CATHOLIC 1: At York Catholic, Brian Riley's two second-half goals allowed the Irish to secure the victory. Teammate Zach Ingram scored a first-half goal.
LITTLESTOWN 4, YORK COUNTRY DAY 2: At Littlestown, Casey Tober led the Thunderbolts with two goals. Jared Dodson picked up two assists. For the Greyhounds, Tyler Weiss and Kwabena Boampong each scored.
NORTHEASTERN 3, KENNARD-DALE 1: At Manchester, the Bobcats scored three unanswered second-half goals to capture the win. Jeremy Weibley, Hunter Taylor and Cameron Artman each scored one goal for the Bobcats. Erik Stroup picked up an assist. For the Rams, Thomas Lippiard scored.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 9, EASTERN 0: At Wrightsville, Alex Rebich led the Warriors, scoring four goals. Nathan Bilbie scored two goals to go with one assist. Zach Holloway, Nick Umezaua and Dan Snyder scored one goal each.
-- Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.