Northeastern boys' soccer stays hot, beats Central York 3-0

Ryan Vandersloot
For the York Dispatch
Dallastown vs. Northeastern during boys’ soccer action at Northeastern Senior High School in East Manchester Township, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Northeastern would win the game 2-0. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

MANCHESTER – In a lot of instances, a rivalry contest can bring the unexpected. That was the case Thursday when Northeastern hosted Central York in a pivotal York-Adams League Division I showdown.

Despite sitting comfortably atop the division standings, the Bobcats knew they would have their hands full with their backyard mates. Sure enough, the Panthers came out with a new look that seemed to give the Manchester boys some issues early.

But after a scoreless first half, the Bobcats finally found their game midway through the final stanza. A trio of goals over a 14-minute span broke open a tight-knit battle and lifted Northeastern to a 3-0 triumph.

The Bobcats improved to 10-3 overall and 8-1 in the Division I with just three divisional contests remaining. The Panthers dropped to 6-5-1 overall and 4-3-1 in the division.

“They played us a lot different than we anticipated,” Northeastern coach Eric Shoemaker said. “They sat in and defended really well, so we had to be very patient.”

Patience was wearing thin as the contest remained deadlocked. It wasn’t until Hunter Bambule broke the drought with a goal with 22:08 left that the home team was rewarded for their play.

Bambule’s goal, however, could have been for naught as the Panthers brought the attack deep inside the offensive zone. On a different night, perhaps the blast that rang off the post moments after Bambule’s tally would have found the net instead to deadlock the contest and bring life to the upset-minded visitors. Fortunately for Northeastern, it did not.

“Two minutes later they are off the post [with the shot] and into our keeper’s hands,” Shoemaker said. “If that goes in, that’s a completely different situation.”

A couple minutes later, the Bobcats doubled the lead when freshman Jackson Wertz found the net with 17:22 remaining.

“I’m glad we got that second one in,” Shoemaker said.

As has been a tradition with the Northeastern boys, celebrating goals by approaching the sidelines gives the fans and players alike a jolt of adrenaline. So it was interesting that when Hayden Dallum found the net to make it 3-0, the junior instead rushed over towards the Bobcats' bench.

“I just really only thought about it before the game,” said Dallum, who recorded his second goal of the season with just under nine minutes left. “Everybody usually goes over the stands, but I tried something different.”

Dallum did get to celebrate after the final buzzer with the student section, something he hopes he can do a couple more times this season.

“This is super special,” Dallum said. “Coming into the year, we lost a lot of really good players and there were doubts with whether we would keep it up, but everybody’s just stepping up and keeping it going.”

With the season series with both Dallastown and Central now cleared, there might be a temptation for the Bobcats to maybe take it easy over the final two weeks of the season. That is something that Shoemaker hopes will not be the case.

“Saturday is huge for us,” Shoemaker said. “We have South Western and they played us so tough last time. We were lucky to get them 1-0 and that’s not just coach-speak. That’s true. We were fortunate that the game went our way that time.”