Joe Nattans enjoyed a great deal of success as the York Catholic girls’ soccer coach.
Back in 2016 he led the Irish to the District 3 Class 1-A title game against eventual state champion Fairfield.
After taking a year off because of his work schedule, Nattans is back at the helm.
Only this time it’s as the school’s boys’ soccer coach.
He’s hoping that the smell of success carries over with him to the boys’ team.
So far, so good.
The Irish continued to roll Thursday evening at Small Athletic Field with a 7-1 victory over city-rival York High. That triumph comes on the heels of an impressive 3-0 win against York-Adams Division III rival Biglerville earlier this week. It was Biglerville's first division loss of the season.
“I missed coaching a lot,” Nattans said. “So I didn’t coach at all last year and I missed it and when (former coach) Pat McShay moved over to a different school, the job opened up and they asked me if I would be interested.”
While his work schedule was still an obstacle, Nattans figured a way to make it work so that he could get back to doing what he loves.
“Yeah, I had to sacrifice some things at work, but I just love it,” he said. “I love coaching.”
Nattans is clearly enamored with his squad, which improved to 10-4 overall and 10-2 in D-III with Thursday’s triumph. The Irish have won four straight and have moved up to No. 6 in the latest District 3 Class 1-A power ratings.
After tinkering around with the team’s offensive combination at the forward spots, Nattans has been impressed with the group he’s settled on.
“We have a lot of guys that stand out,” he said. “Bryan Bullen is creating our goals and his brother, Ben, is right there with him.”
Bryan Bullen improved his tally for the season to 11 against the Bearcats while Ben is close behind with nine.
“The Bullen brothers…they have so much speed,” Nattans said. “It’s a thrill to watch them play. Bryan usually gets on the end of Ben’s crossings, but now we put Ben up front.”
Nattans also pointed out midfielder Nick DeMarco as a difference maker. DeMarco was out for York Catholic’s first meeting against Biglerville, which won with two minutes left in overtime. With DeMarco back, the Canners were held scoreless.
“They beat us,” Nattans said of his team’s 2-1 loss against Biglerville. “And it was a letdown for us, because we fought real hard. But I think the difference the second time was us just having more confidence.”
Another thing that brings a smile to Nattans’ face is his team’s ability to score goals. Early in the season, they were getting most of their tallies off of corner kicks and headers, but now they are doing it in all other fashions.
“Now we’re starting to create our own shots,” he said. “And that’s been a big difference for us for sure.”
Ben Bullen finished Thursday's game with two goals and two assists. Bryan Bullen had two goals. Dylan Staub added a goal and an assist.
York Suburban 4, Eastern York 2: At Wrightsville, the Trojans netted four second-half goals to take command. Parker Lando led the Trojans with two goals. Also for Suburban, Liam Waterbury scored one goal, while Nathan Bowman and Doug Horn each added one assist. For the Golden Knights, Avery Rhine and Zach Gross each scored one goal.
Northeastern 2, Dallastown 1: At Dallastown, the Bobcats triumphed behind goals from Sam Sidle and Joshua Sanderson. Alex Afata and Antonio Damian had assists. Troy Billingslea got the win in goal, making seven saves. Brandon Hole made three saves for Dallastown. Northeastern won the JV match, 2-0.
South Western 2, West York 0: At Hanover, Sam Piatt and James Strausbaugh scored for the Mustangs. Casey Slater had an assist.
Red Lion 5, New Oxford 0: At New Oxford, the first-place Lions (8-3-1 overall) rolled to a York-Adams Division I victory. The Lions are 8-1-1 in the division.
Central York 1, Spring Grove 1: Wednesday at Central, the Rockets and the Panthers battled to a tie in a York-Adams Division I match. Evan Smeltzer scored an unassisted goal in the first half for Central, while Deelan Salemme scored an unassisted second-half goal for Spring Grove. Rockets goalie Chris Wilhide made eight saves. Spring Grove won the JV match, 1-0.
South Western 5, West York 1: At West York, Alyssa Denney scored West York's only goal. Jenna Madsen, Becca Kays, Missy Klecker, Nikki Wagner and Bella Gilberto scored for South Western. Alexis Colon made eight saves for West York.
Red Lion 8, New Oxford 0: At Red Lion, the Lions cruised behind Lexis Kline's hat trick. Gabby Young (goal, two assists), Kaylee Snyder (goal, assist) and Brooke Wentz (goal, assist) also had multiple-point games. Shaye Robertson and Julia Rowe also had goals. The Lions (11-3 overall) lead York-Adams Division I at 9-1.
York Catholic 7, York High 1: At Small Field, Sydney Mentzer scored three goals to lead the Irish, who scored six first-half goals.
Susquehannock 2, Dover 0: At Glen Rock, Emily Rathell and Olivia Pasko scored the Warriors' goals. Maddy Yoakum added an assist. Jordyn Prediger made two saves to record the shutout in goal. Cierra Miller had seven saves for Dover. First-place Susquehannock improved to 8-1-1 in York-Adams Division II (8-4-1 overall).
Gettysburg 3, Kennard-Dale 1: Fawn Grove, Lydia Gable had K-D's only score.
Three upsets in 3-A singles: Three of the eight seeded players were upset in the first round of the rain-plagued York-Adams League Girls' Singles Class 3-A Tennis Tournament.
No. 5 seed Morgan Kistler of Dallastown lost to South Western's Emma Hynson, 6-2, 6-1; No. 7 seed Courtnee Hoff of Northeastern lost to Dallastown's Grace Heird, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1); and No. 8 seed Sophie Lanius of Red Lion lost to York Suburban's Zoe Prats, 6-4, 6-3.
The 3-A event at South Western was hit by rain as the second round started. The only second-round match to get completed was a 6-0, 6-1 victory by No. 1 seed Michaela Sentz of South Western.
The other four 3-A seeded-players to make it through the first round were No. 2 Meghan Salaga of Dallastown, No. 3 Kamdyn Balko of New Oxford, No. 4. Juliannne Cassady of Susquehannock and No. 6 Audrey Stewart of Central York.
In the 2-A event at Red Lion, all of the first-round and second-round matches were completed as scheduled, and all eight seeded players advanced to the quarterfinals: No. 1 Ellie Neudecker of Delone Catholic, No. 2 Brianna Miller of Kennard-Dale, No. 3 Evelyn Whiteside of Eastern York, No. 4 Becca Dolce of Delone Catholic, No. 5 Audrey Kinney of West York, No. 6 Annie Stitch of York Catholic, No. 7 Alisa Steele of West York and No. 8 Peyton Golowski of Delone Catholic.
Both the 3-A and 2-A tournaments will resume at 2 p.m. Friday at South Western
South Western 3, Red Lion 0: At Hanover, the Mustangs won the match, 25-23, 25-11, 25-18. Megan Wolf led the Mustangs with nine kills, six aces and 11 digs. Teammate Ali St. Rose had 15 kills and nine digs, while Jacy Crouse had 18 assists, three aces and four digs. For the Lions, Ashley Baughman had six kills and three blocks, while Maddie Grim had 20 assists and eight digs and Julia Beiler had five kills. South Western won the JV match, 25-15, 25-16.
West York 3, Susquehannock 0: At West York, the first-place Bulldogs rolled to a 25-17, 25-9, 25-10 win. Julia Rill (eight kills, eight digs) and Taylor Morley (25 assists, five digs) led West York (12-1 overall, 10-0 in York-Adams Division II). Alex Sumerville (10 assists, eight digs) paced the Warriors.
York Suburban 3, Eastern York 0: At Wrightsville, the Trojans won, 25-12, 25-16, 29-27. Eliana Rogers led the Trojans with 12 kills, three digs and three aces. Also for Suburban (11-1 overall, 9-1 in York-Adams Division II), Lauren Guyer had 28 assists and seven digs. For the Golden Knights, Sarah Moore had 19 kills and eight digs and Katie Lehman had 22 assists and eight digs. Suburban won the JV match 2-0.
York Catholic 3, Littlestown 0: At York, the Irish rolled, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21. The Irish were led by McKenna Walker (19 digs), Bella Kepner (nine kills, nine digs) and Megan Daugherty (19 assists). York Catholic improved to 11-1 overall and 8-1 in York-Adams Division III.
Spring Grove 3, Northeastern 1: At Spring Grove, the Rockets won, 25- 20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21. Spring Grove's leaders were Hailey Marcionette (three kills, five digs, 13 assists), Maddie Ruhland (four kills, 13 assists), Falyn McGlynn (five kills, eight digs), Angalyn Strouse (seven kills) and Nevaeh Wolfe (17 digs). Northeastern's leaders were Abigail Hornberger (eight digs), Natalie Martin (eight kills) and Jade Shellenberger (six digs, 27 assists, four aces). Spring Grove won the JV match, 2-0.
Dallastown 3, Dover 0: At Dover, the Wildcats cruised to the win, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21. Izzy Ream (33 assists), Lydia Stump (10 kills, six assists) and Syd Ohl (11 kills) led Dallastown. Dover's leaders were Chayce Hoffman (eight kills, 11 digs), Emma Davis (12 kills) and Abby Diehl (22 assists). Dallastown is 10-6 overall and 6-4 in York-Adams Division I. Dover is 8-4 and 6-2. Dallastown won the JV match, 2-1.
Dallastown 4, Northeastern 0: At Manchester, the Wildcats (11-4 overall) moved into a tie for first place with Central York in York-Adams Division I at 9-1.
Spring Grove 4, Middletown 0: At Middletown, Lauren Guise led the Rockets to the nonleague victory by scoring two goals and adding one assist. Lindsay Snyder scored two goals, while Grace Snyder added one assist.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.