GLEN ROCK — Lately, there have been few boys' soccer rivalries as good as the one between Gettysburg and Susquehannock in York-Adams Division II.
The schools from different counties, but with the same mascot — Warriors — have put on more than a few epic contests over the past several seasons.
None of that mattered too much when the D-II foes battled once more in Glen Rock Wednesday, Oct. 4. With a chance to clinch at least a share of the division title, the York County Warriors refused to let a golden opportunity slip away.
After a scoreless first half, Susquehannock took the lead for good early in the second stanza on a goal by Zach Buchanan. And after a penalty kick tally by Jason Weger with 25 minutes left, Buchanan capped off a terrific night with his second score with just more than four minutes left to seal a 3-0 triumph.
Buchanan’s club improved to 14-1 overall and 10-0 in Division II. They clinched no worse than a share of the crown with two division matches remaining. Gettysburg fell to 9-3-1 overall and 7-2 in the division.
“This is just incredible,” Buchanan said. “It’s kind of surreal right now. Winning the division championship, or at least a share of it, with two games left in the season … you couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Big win for several reasons: Wednesday’s contest was big for Buchanan and his teammates for several reasons. For one, Gettysburg earned a split of the title a season ago with a victory on Susquehannock’s home turf — something the York County Warriors were dead-set on avoiding this season.
More importantly, and more personally, Buchanan missed the first showdown this season in Gettysburg with a bad stomach flu. For him to miss a game of that caliber is saying something, so the Susquehannock senior was definitely looking forward to making perhaps his final contest against against the Adams County Warriors memorable.
“I didn’t get to play in that first game because I was sick,” he said. “That was pretty disappointing, so to come back like this was incredible. This game has been on my calendar for a while now.”
There was little that Buchanan and his teammates didn’t do right Wednesday. They took the action to the visitors, limiting Gettysburg to just one shot. While they didn’t score in the first half, things changed after Buchanan found the net just under seven minutes into the second half.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys came out tonight,” Susquehannock coach Brett Maxwell said. “Last year we went in and beat them at their place, but they came back and got us here. We didn’t want to let that happen again.”
Reloading, not rebuilding: The fact that Maxwell and his team are in this place once more may come as a bit of a surprise to some. After losing many senior starters from last year’s club, the thought in some circles around the league was that Susquehannock would be in a rebuilding pattern.
To Maxwell’s credit, he was able to rally his team into shape after a 4-1 loss early in the season to Division I leader Central York. Maxwell’s crew grew up quickly and hasn’t missed a beat since.
“Winning the division title is good for them,” Maxwell said of his team. “A lot of people didn’t think we had quite the same team as we did last year and we were kind of written off as kind of being in a rebuilding situation. But we just call it a reloading season. We knew we had quality players coming up.”
Possible rematch? With the division title, for all intents and purposes, in the bag now, Maxwell and his team can start to focus on the postseason. That will start with the league playoffs, where a possible rematch with the Panthers looms.
“Central was our wake-up call,” Maxwell said. “If we get to see them again we would take that opportunity for sure, but we are really looking more at the county tournament as a tune-up for districts.”
The York County Warriors are currently No. 2 in the latest District 3 Class 3-A power ratings behind top-seeded Lower Dauphin. Gettysburg is No. 6 in those ratings, with the top 16 teams qualifying for the bracket.
Dover 5, York Suburban 1: At Dover, Kylie Firestone and Libby McKeever each netted two goals for the Eagles. Rachel Stine also scored for Dover. Riley Seward scored for Suburban. Dover outshot Suburban, 26-6, and had a 4-1 edge in corners. Suburban won the JV match, 1-0.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.