Northeastern boys' soccer earns signature win over Dallastown
The Northeastern boys’ soccer team had Tuesday evening circled on its calendar for the last few weeks.
On Sept. 3, early in the morning on a Saturday at Dallastown High School, the Bobcats did not live up their own lofty expectations. In a sloppy affair, Northeastern failed to generate much of anything. Neither did the Wildcats, but the home team was able to put a ball in the net off a corner opportunity to claim a 1-0 victory.
Ever since, the Bobcats have been motivated to make amends. Given the opportunity on their home turf Tuesday, the Northeastern boys didn’t allow this chance to slip through their fingers.
A late goal in the first half by Anthony Weekley gave the Bobcats the edge heading into intermission. After several close calls by the Wildcats, the hosts sealed victory when sophomore Lincoln Wertz chipped a rebound into the net with just over three minutes left to give Northeastern a 2-0 triumph.
“Last year, it came down to this game and they took it, so we ended up splitting the division,” Wertz said. “But tonight, this win here puts us three points ahead of them, and we were really motivated since we lost to them earlier in the season.”
The Bobcats (9-3 overall, 7-1 York-Adams Division I, 21 points) did indeed move at least three points clear of Dallastown (5-4-1, 4-2, 12 points) in the standings with the Wildcats holding two games in hand. If Northeastern wins out like it did in the first half of the division schedule, it would claim the D-I title outright.
“When we played them, it was a rough week,” Wertz said. “We were coming off a loss to Mechanicsburg and then dropped one to Elizabethtown (the next week).” The Bobcats lost 3-0 in both contests.
Since then, the Bobcats have reeled off seven straight victories to put themselves in excellent position to check off their No. 1 goal — winning the division outright.
“We came out tonight and were ready to play,” Wertz said. “It’s always a good matchup and it does get a little chippy at times.”
Tuesday, however, was but one of two big rivalry games in the week for coach Eric Shoemaker’s squad. His Bobcats will host backyard rival Central York on Thursday in a game that could derail everything his young squad has built up over the past few weeks.
“We have a really quick turnaround to Thursday,” Shoemaker said. “They (Central York) have had some really good matches, so we cannot afford to take them lightly.”
The Bobcats downed the Panthers (5-4-1, 3-2-1, 10 points) by a 2-1 margin earlier in the season.
“I knew that it’s going to be difficult,” Wertz said of Thursday’s showdown. “They just beat Dallastown last week, so we have to be ready.”