SOCCER ROUNDUP: Susquehannock boys roll in battle of York-Adams Division II leaders
GLEN ROCK — There was more than just a little uncertainty this summer for Susquehannock boys' soccer head coach Brett Maxwell.
With a slew of important starters from last year’s PIAA Class 3-A qualifying squad having graduated, Maxwell wasn’t sure what to expect.
Throw in the uncertainty of whether or not a season would even happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there were more questions than answers.
Now, nearly three weeks into the condensed and abbreviated season, Maxwell is starting to find out more and more about his club.
Suffice it to say, Maxwell had to be smiling after Tuesday’s York-Adams League Division II clash with rival West York.
After struggling over the first 30-plus minutes against the Bulldogs, the Warriors found their groove. A pair of goals 72 seconds apart near the end of the first half gave the home team some room for comfort.
Any thoughts of a Bulldog comeback after the break were quickly put on ice. The Warriors found the back of the net five times from five different players over the first 18 minutes of the second half. In the end, Susquehannock cruised to an impressive 7-0 triumph in a battle of previous D-II unbeatens.
The Warriors improved to 5-0-0, while West York fell to 3-1-0.
“We made some really nice adjustments in the second half,” said Maxwell, whose Susquehannock-branded face mask covered any possible smile. “In the first half, West York really got numbers behind the ball and did a nice job defensively.”
Murray, Ndiaye shine: Ashton Murray and Abass Ndiaye, who struck for Susquehannock’s two first-half tallies, added additional goals during the 18-minute second-half blitz when the Warriors seemingly could do nothing wrong.
Murray, a junior, and Ndiaye, a sophomore, are part of new Susquehannock core that is aiming to keep the program at the same level as before.
While some questions remain — Maxwell and the Warriors won’t be able to face any teams outside of Division II until the District 3 playoffs — the results so far certainly have been positive.
Maxwell, however, won’t admit to sharing any excessive confidence at this point.
“It’s tough to say how good we are,” Maxwell said. “But I know we’re all just really happy to just be out here and playing on the field.”
Big turnout: Maxwell and his team knew there was a chance that the season would either be canceled or moved to the spring. Even with those doubts, a staggering turnout of nearly 50 players showed up for optional offseason training.
“They just wanted to play,” Maxwell said. “They wanted to be out here.”
Maxwell still had some questions about how his team would handle the upcoming campaign. A new system of play, combined with a good bit of inexperience, is typically not a recipe for success.
For the Warriors, however, it’s been so far, so good.
“I think a lot of people around the league expected us to drop down a notch or two,” Maxwell said. “I know that we have a really strong underclassman class, but without having scrimmages or nonleague contests, it’s hard to know how it would turn out.”
West York coach not surprised: Don’t count West York coach Ben Reiber as one of the Susquehannock doubters.
“I’m not surprised,” Reiber said. “They kind of have a conveyor belt of players that they can fit in, and they have a lot of depth. He (Maxwell) told me they had like 50 guys this summer and they had to make cuts to get down to 36. I had 27 and we have 27 so it’s a difference in that sense.”
Fallou Cisse, Mason Kaifer and Ken Dunkle scored the other three goals for Susquehannock on Tuesday.
OTHER BOYS' SOCCER
Northeastern 2, Red Lion 0: At Manchester, the Bobcats improved to 5-0 in D-I action. Andrew Baker and Brian Warrender scored the goals, while Mitchel King and Brian Warcholak had the assists.
York Catholic 3, Biglerville 2: At York Catholic, Colin Smith led the Irish the home victory by scoring two goals and adding one assist. Teammate Jon Yinger scored one goal and added one assist. For the Canners, Emmanuel Rivera-Esquivas and Tyler Daron each scored one goal. York Catholic improved to 5-0-0 in D-III.
York Catholic 4, Biglerville 2: At Biglerville, Sydney Mentzer led the Irish to the D-III victory by scoring two goals. Samantha Bulik and Kelleigh Pollock each scored one goal for YC. For the Canners, Emily Woolson and Mikayla Taylor each scored. York Catholic improved to 4-1 in the division.
Bermudian Springs 2, Delone Catholic 1: At York Springs, Hannah Metzger's goal in the second overtime gave the Eagles the victory. Hannah Chenault had Bermudian's other goal. Madison O'Brien scored for Delone.
Gettysburg 9, Eastern York 0: At Gettysburg, Maddy Gaydon scored three goals to power the Warriors to the D-II victory. Gettysburg is 3-0 in D-II.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.