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BOYS' SOCCER: Central York storms to impressive win in District 3-AAA opener

GEORGE HAMMOND
YorkDispatch

If there were any ill effects from losing the York-Adams League boys' soccer title to Gettysburg last week, Central York sure didn't show it Tuesday night.

The No. 4 seed Panthers (20-2) rebounded with a stellar effort in the first round of the District 3-AAA boys' soccer tournament, defeating No. 20 seed Daniel Boone, 6-1. The victory sends the Panthers to the quarterfinals on Saturday against No. 5 seed Conestoga Valley (17-2-0), which defeated No. 12 seed Mechanicsburg (12-6-0) in its first-round match on Tuesday, 2-1.

Four players scored first-half goals for Central, helping the Panthers build a 5-0 halftime advantage.

"I think they were excited to play and they came out with a lot of energy, and when you get one ball in the back of the net, everyone gets excited and plays even harder," Central coach Frank Lenno said. "We took advantage of some situations and we were able to exploit a couple of things, get behind them and finish the ball."

With eight seniors in the starting lineup, Central took advantage of its experience edge to control first-half play.

Lenno wasn't surprised.

"I have good kids, who every time they come out on the field, they play hard," he said. "Last week, Gettysburg was good. I think they're going to win the state championship (in Class AA). If you can defend like they can, you're going to be in every game."

After a couple of near misses in the first few minutes, Central got on the board just 8 minutes, 23 seconds into the match when senior Michael Tolley scored on an assist from Pierrce Miller. Ten minutes later, Nick Starr got into the act with a goal on an assist from Jared Wagner, and Tolley added his second goal less than a minute later on an assist from Carter Luckenbaugh.

"I think we did come out really strong," Tolley said. "I think after the county game, we were all just excited to get back out on the field. We listened to what coach wanted us to do, and I think it's made us stronger as a team. We want to work even harder. We all want to get in the play, and it's really important for us to work together. Coach says we're like a machine, and if one part of the machine isn't working, it won't be functional."

The Panthers weren't done scoring in the first half. After Tolley's second goal, Igor Gomes scored his first of two goals, and before the half ended, Jared Hileman added another goal.

Gomes scored to make it 6-0 early in the second half before Daniel Boone's Brenden Valverde scored on a penalty kick.

Lenno, meanwhile, knows it will get much harder now.

"I think we just have to prepare to play 80 minutes mentally," he said. "We cannot get out of the game. We have to be in the game and we have to do it for 80 minutes and that's what we did today. "

OTHER BOYS' SOCCER

Elizabethtown 2, Dallastown 1, OT: At Elizabethtown, the Wildcats' season came to an end with an overtime loss in a District 3-AAA first-round contest. Kyle Stauffer scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute to give the Bears the dramatic win. The Wildcats fell behind 1-0 in the 17th minute on a goal by Elizabethtown's Braydon Shuck. Dallastown equalized in the 34th minute thanks to a goal by Kyle Schimmel, sending the game to halftime tied, 1-1. Both teams played a scoreless second half, forcing the game into extra time. The Wildcats, who came in seeded No. 10, ended their season with a 12-7-1 mark. The seventh-seeded Bears improved to 16-4-2.

— Reach George Hammond at sports@yorkdispatch.com.