GLEN ROCK — Susquehannock boys’ soccer standout Jason Weger enjoyed a breakout 2017 performance, and it came at just the right time.
Weger, who was the Warriors' leading goal scorer a season ago, had just one goal heading into a home contest against York-Adams League Division II rival West York on Thursday, Sept. 14.
It didn’t take a coach to make Weger aware that he needed to change up his game. The senior standout figured that out on his own during the first half against the Bulldogs.
Using a more aggressive tactic to attack the ball, Weger ended his mini-drought by finding the net twice, including the eventual game-winning tally early in the second half. Weger’s goal was only the beginning. The Warriors scored five times over the final 40 minutes to upend West York, 6-1. Susquehannock improved to 3-0 in D-II.
“I just started attacking the ball more on offense,” Weger said. “Just making more over-lapping runs, and my teammates put it in for me, especially in this game.”
A hot streak offensively by Weger would be a welcome delight for his coach, Brett Maxwell. After losing nine seniors from last year’s club, Maxwell is counting on guys such as Weger for leadership both on and off the field.
“Every time he steps onto the field, I think he’s the best player on the field,” Maxwell said. “He hasn’t been scoring goals this year and I overheard him on the bench. Some of the guys asked him why he hadn’t been scoring goals and he just said that he wasn’t making the same runs that he was making last year. And he was right on. Smart kid.”
Weger, who is one of 11 seniors on the squad this year, takes his role on this year’s squad seriously. But he made it clear that he is not the only one the team leans on for leadership. His fellow seniors on the team all are doing whatever they can to keep the Susquehannock program, which has won or shared two of the last three Division II titles, among the best in the York-Adams League.
“We know that we still have a lot of strong players coming into this season,” Weger said. “A little bit inexperienced but we know that if we all work hard and improve that we’ll have another good season.”
If Maxwell can keep his team playing like the they did Thursday for the rest of the league season, that would be an easy goal to achieve. Maxwell thought his team played very well early in the first half. He was even happier to see that there was no sense of panic after the Bulldogs took the lead with just over 11 minutes left in the first half on a goal by Jack Langstaff.
Just before the half ended, however, the Warriors evened up the score on a nifty goal by Noal Holloway.
“I thought we played well for the first 20-25 minutes,” Maxwell said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the net. And then they got one on a set piece. I was really proud of how we responded because in games in the past when we gave up a goal or faced adversity we sort of panicked.”
The response was far from a panic. The home team turned up the pressure in the second half. Using their speed and skill, the Warriors tallied all five goals in the second half over a 25-minute span.
David Muriel-Diaz matched Weger with two goals on the night, with Colin Sweigard scoring the final goal with 11:35 remaining.
The Warriors outshot the Bulldogs, 22-2. West York goalie Connor Gerrick finished with 16 saves.
Northeastern 3, New Oxford 1: At New Oxford, Noah Hartzfeld led the Bobcats by scoring one goal and adding one assist. Also for the Bobcats, D.J. Hamilton and Alex Afata each scored one goal, while Sam Sidle added one assist.
Kennard-Dale 7, Dover 3: At Fawn Grove, Kevin Avalos led the Rams by recording a hat trick. Also for K-D, Craig Potts added two assists and two goals, James Lippiard had one goal and one assist and Logan Coomes scored one goal. For the Eagles, Connor Speir scored two goals, Cole Wentz scored one goal and Jaxson Burrage had one assist.
Central York 5, Northern York 0: At Pleasureville, the Panthers erupted for four goals in the second half to blow open a once-close contest against the Polar Bears. Nick Starr had a hat-trick in the second half, while Jake Broederdorf scored the other two for Central. Trace Becker assisted on three of the goals.
Eastern York 1, York Suburban 1: At Suburban, the Golden Knights and Trojans played to a draw. Doug Horn opened the scoring for Suburban midway through the second half, before Zack Goss equalized five minutes later.
Dallastown 4, Spring Grove 2: At Dallastown, the Wildcats used a three-goal first half to earn the win. Jordan Lese, Dinisti Cox, Mia Rexroth and Laken Fry scored for Dallastown. Spring Grove’s goals came from Carley Kibler and Anna Morton.
Bermudian Springs 4, York Catholic 3, OT: At York Springs, Katie Smyers scored three goals, including the overtime winner. Bernei Schintz, Renee Bonner and Carolyn Haskell scored for York Catholic.
Central York 2, Northern York 1: At Dillsburg, after being tied at halftime, the Panthers found the winner in the second half to down the Polar Bears. Bre Sgrignoli scored the winner midway through the second half, while Sydney Koncsol added the other goal for Central early in the first half.
Northeastern 4, New Oxford 1: At Manchester, Amanda Leisses led the Bobcats to the victory by scoring two goals. Teammate Katie Snelbaker scored one goal and added one assist, while Amanda Bentz added one assist and Trinity Schraudner scored one goal.
Dover 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Dover, Libby McKeever scored a pair of goals to lead the Eagles past the Rams. Kylie Firestone also recorded a goal for Dover. In net, Kelsey Gamber made six saves to notch the shutout.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.