It was a great night for Susquehannock soccer at Hollidaysburg High School on Tuesday.
After watching the Susquehannock girls' team triumph just before it took the field, the Warriors' boys' squad followed suit in Tuesday's PIAA Class AA first-round match against Somerset.
The Warriors struck early and then kept on the gas pedal, knocking out the Eagles, 3-0, and advancing to Saturday's quarterfinals.
Cheikh Cisse put Susquehannock up 1-0 in just the second minute, knocking home a rebound to start the scoring festivities early.
"We came out firing and got on the attack early," Warriors coach Brett Maxwell said in a phone interview. "Then the game got a little ugly in the first half for a little bit. It just wasn't a high brand of soccer, but we were able to slow things down and start controlling the game."
Susquehannock carried much of the play in the opening 40 minutes and then tallied late in the half to take a 2-0 advantage into the break. Luke Thomas scored the second goal of the game.
The second half was much of the same for the Warriors, as they came out to begin the second half and instantly struck again to put the game to rest. Kaleb Lippy converted a nice cross by Jason Gayle with a header into the back of the net to make it 3-0 Susquehannock.
That would be all the Warriors needed, as they took down the District 5 champion and continued their strong season, improving to 16-7.
"It was a different type of game than we've seen in the last couple weeks," Maxwell said. "Because we've played in a lot of physical games that you're not able to combine on passes and connect passes together. It's more direct and both teams are just going back-and-forth in the middle of the field. But today, we were able to slow the game down and possess the ball a little bit."
Susquehannock owned a 15-4 shot advantage and goalie Aaron Bilbie stopped all four shots he faced.
Next up for the Warriors is South Fayette, the District 7 champion. South Fayette knocked off District 7 rival Thomas Jefferson, 2-0. Saturday's quarterfinal match doesn't have a set time or location.
"Any team at this point in the state tournament can go to the final," Maxwell said. "So, we're looking to take it one game at a time, but we think we have as good a shot as anybody."
OTHER PIAA BOYS' SOCCER
Gettysburg 2, Lansdale Catholic 0: At Philadelphia, the Warriors continued their impressive 2015 campaign with a first-round victory in the PIAA Class AA tournament over the Crusaders, 2-0.
Gettysburg got things started early in the contest, with Matt Yingling scoring in the 16th minute to put his team up 1-0. The Warriors continued to carry much of the play, but only held the 1-0 advantage after the opening 40 minutes.
However, it didn't take Gettysburg long to add to its lead coming out of the halftime break, with Adam Yingling joining his brother on the score sheet, capitalizing on a penalty kick to make the Warriors' lead 2-0 in the 43rd minute. That was plenty of offense for the stingy Gettysburg defense, which didn't concede a shot on goal until midway through the second half.
It's the second straight year that the Warriors defeated Lansdale Catholic in the first round of the state tournament. Gettysburg held a 13-2 advantage in shots and a 7-3 advantage in corners. Warriors keeper Yanni Tassou needed to make just two saves to keep his clean sheet.
Gettysburg (23-1) will continue its season with a quarterfinal showdown against Northwestern Lehigh on Saturday. Northwestern Lehigh advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 win over Pottsgrove.
Central York 2, Fox Chapel 2 (Fox Chapel advances 4-3 on penalties): At Chambersburg, the Panthers were one minute away from advancing to Saturday's quarterfinals in the PIAA Class AAA tournament.
Then, they didn't advance at all.
The District 7 runner-up Foxes were awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of regulation, which they converted to tie the game at 2-2, sending it into extra time. Then they advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3, to down Central York and end its season.
The Panthers came out storming to begin the game, scoring in the 23rd minute thanks to a goal by Jared Wagner to go up 1-0. Pierrce Miller was awarded the assist. However, the lead was short-lived. Central conceded the equalizer just six minutes later. But, the Panthers regained the momentum going into the half, courtesy of an Igor Gomes goal in the 34th minute to carry a 2-1 advantage into the break.
Fox Chapel's Jung Hong converted the PK at the end of regulation, sending the game into extra time.
From there, both teams played two scoreless, 15-minute golden-goal periods before having the game decided in penalties.
The loss ends the Panthers' season with a record of 22-2, with both losses coming in the team's final two games. They lost the District 3-AAA final in penalties last weekend.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker.