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BOYS' SOCCER: Central York earns key early-season win

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
505-5403/@ydsports
  • Central York improved to 3-0 in York-Adams Division I action with the win.
  • Carter Luckenbaugh scored the game's only goal, off an assist from Trace Becker.
  • Red Lion fell to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in Division I with the loss.

EMIGSVILLE — Over the past handful of years, the Central York boys’ soccer team has consistently been among the best outfits in the entire York-Adams League.

However, after graduating eight seniors, including several all-stars, the Panthers are a work in progress in 2016.

While the Panthers are certainly not at the same level of excellence as the previous two Central York clubs, there is a sense of optimism that the squad is heading in the right direction.

Evidence of that was presented Tuesday evening when the Panthers hosted and up-and-coming Red Lion club in a Division I clash. The home team played with much the same style as their two previous predecessors, controlling the play throughout. That was key, since it only took them a minute to take the lead.

Carter Luckenbaugh’s fourth tally of the season off a nice feed from Trace Becker put the Panthers ahead in the first minute. It turned out that Luckenbaugh’s goal was all the Panthers would need. They blanked the visitors 1-0, sending the Lions to their first defeat of the young season.

“We’re still trying to figure out the best combinations,” Central York coach Frank Lenno said. “We’re still working on finding out which players fit where, kind of like a puzzle. We have a lot of quality players, but we need to figure out where they are suited best in our system.”

It looks like two key pieces to the last couple of division-winning and PIAA-qualifying Panther clubs, Pierrce Miller and Luckenbaugh, are starting to get a feel for new positions. Miller was more of an outside, on-the-flank attacker a year ago, while Luckenbaugh had a more defensive position. Both are now in the midfield, where Lenno is hoping their play-making abilities will shine.

It certainly has for Luckenbaugh, who now has four goals over Central’s first six games (4-2 overall, 3-0 Division I).

“Last year I was more holding, and this year I’m more attacking,” Luckenbaugh said. “I mean I still do both, but we’re trying to switch it up a bit and see what happens.”

It didn’t take long for Luckenbaugh to make a big impact on the outcome.

“It was an early goal, and that’s pretty important in this game, which we knew was going to be tight,” he said. “We’re two pretty evenly-matched teams, so getting up early was pretty important.”

Luckenbaugh thought he may have hooked his game-winning shot when it left his foot. Fortunately for his teammates, however, it stayed true and served as a big part of the Panthers' game plan. From that point on, the home team could focus on possession and patience. It definitely worked. The Lions managed just two shots on goal for the contest, including none over the final 20 minutes.

The victory broke Red Lion’s surprising start to the season. The Lions entered the contest 4-0 overall and tied with Central atop the division standings at 2-0.

Red Lion, however, won’t have to wait too long for a rematch. The two clubs are slated to play again on Sept. 26 at Horn Field.

OTHER

BOYS' SOCCER

York Catholic 3, Delone Catholic 0: At McSherrystown, T.J. McGraw scored both first-half goals for York Catholic, while Seth Falvey added the second-half marker. Delone keeper Isaac Brillhart made seven saves.

Susquehannock 9, Kennard-Dale 0: At Susquehannock, Zach Buchanan and Jason Weger each recorded a hat trick as the Warriors cruised. Weger also posted three assists. Xander Holloway added a pair of assists to the winning cause.

Dallastown 4, Northeastern 1: At Northeastern, Addison Keja scored a pair of goals to lead the Wildcats to the road victory. A.J. Lentz and Drake Pew also scored for Dallastown. Chris Moyer posted Northeastern’s goal.

Gettysburg 2, West York 0: At Gettysburg, Logan Carbaugh and Matt Yingling each scored one second-half goal to break the 0-0 halftime tie. For the Bulldogs, Cameron Goodling made nine stops in goal.

South Western 4, Spring Grove 1: At Hanover, Zach Lafaver scored two goals and Geoffrey Little added two assists for the winners. Spencer Wells and Charlie Klecker also scored South Western goals. Brant Aughenbaugh scored for Spring Grove, while Trevor Kern had nine saves in a losing cause.

Hanover 2, Lancaster County Christian 1: At Lancaster, the Nighthawks grabbed the non-league win. No other details were reported.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.