GLEN ROCK — Playing in the District 3 Class 3-A boys’ soccer playoffs is a daunting task.
Even the lowest seed in the 16-team draw has the ability to pull off an upset.
Especially when the high seed is coming off a grueling game just two nights before.
So, on a night when most of top-seeded Susquehannock’s highly-skilled players were not at their peak, the talent and skill of the Warriors still made the difference.
Twice surrendering one-goal leads, the York-Adams League Division II champs responded back from a late goal by visiting Donegal with one of their own. Fallou Cisse rocketed in a feed from teammate Greyson Murray with 5:31 left to send the Y-A runner-up to a thrilling 3-2 triumph.
The Warriors (19-1-2) move on to the quarterfinal round vs. No. 8 seed Cocalico, a 2-0 winner over ninth-seeded West Perry on Monday. The Susquehannock-Cocalico contest is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Susquehannock. Cocalico is 11-6-2.
“We had a strong attack,” said Cisse, who scored just 50 seconds after Donegal’s Patrick Summers evened the score at 2-2. “We used our wings well. So we know that we can cross the ball. We just have to finish.”
Susquehannock coach Brett Maxwell was not surprised that his team was pushed by the Lancaster-Lebanon League foe, which finished at 10-8-1. His team was coming off a tiring 1-0 setback in the Y-A title game against unbeaten Dallastown on Saturday. It was Susquehannock's first loss of the season.
The Indians, who finished tied for third in Section 3 of the L-L League, had nearly two full weeks off to rest up and prepare for the contest.
“District 3 is such a strong district in boys’ soccer,” Maxwell said. “Now I don’t want to say that it’s stronger than the state tournament, but it’s definitely deeper. And (Donegal) is a very good 16 seed and we knew they would be tough, especially since they play in a very strong league.”
The Warrior coach, however, would have enjoyed having more time off between the league tournament final and his team’s first district contest.
“We definitely didn’t play our best soccer of the season,” he said. “But really, at this time of the season, it’s just about finding ways to win. It is killer to have to play two days later and I wish the schedule didn’t work out that way.”
The Holloway brothers, Nick and Nolan, scored Susquehannock’s first two goals. Nick scored the first one of the night midway through the first half, while Nolan added his six minutes into the second half.
Now Maxwell and his team will look to put an end to a string of disappointments in the district quarterfinals. Since making the state draw back in 2015, Maxwell and his club have been eliminated in the district second round in each of the previous three campaigns.
Last season it was rival West York, who the Warriors shared the Y-A title with in 2018, which ousted Susquehannock. This time around, however, it won’t be a familiar foe that Maxwell's program will have to overcome. Instead it will be another L-L opponent.
“I’ll tell you this,” Maxwell said. “If we play like we did tonight on Thursday, I can see our season ending. We have to play back at a higher level.”
OTHER DISTRICT 3 BOYS' SOCCER
West York 1, York Suburban 0 (OT): At Suburban, Noah Murray's overtime goal gave the 10th-seeded Bulldogs the District 3 Class 3-A first-round triumph. Seventh-seeded Suburban finished at 12-6-2. West York improved to 12-6-2. The Bulldogs will next face second-seeded Lower Dauphin (15-3-1), which is coming off a 4-0 victory over 15th-seeded Boiling Springs (11-7) on Monday. The West York-Lower Dauphin contest is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Lower Dauphin Middle School.
Fairfield 2, Mount Calvary 1: At Mount Calvary, the 10th-seeded Green Knights upended the No. 7 seed. Fairfield improved to 11-7-1, while Mount Calvary fell to 12-5. In Wednesday's quarterfinals, Fairfield will travel to No. 2 seed York Catholic (16-4) in a 5 p.m. contest. York Catholic had a bye on Monday. Tyler Richardson and Eric Ball had Fairfield's goals.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.