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Blue Raider boys soccer needs solid finish to make postseason

By Mitch Spear, Special to the Press & Journal
Posted 10/11/17


The Middletown Blue Raiders boys soccer team went 1-1 last week, with a big victory against West Perry and then a disappointing loss against the state single A defending champions, the Camp …

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Blue Raider boys soccer needs solid finish to make postseason


The Middletown Blue Raiders boys soccer team went 1-1 last week, with a big victory against West Perry and then a disappointing loss against the state single A defending champions, the Camp Hill Lions.

They added a win Monday vs. Trinity, 3-1 at home.

The Raiders will need to get some positive results in their remaining three matches as they sit in eighth place in District 3-AA with the top 10 teams advancing to the postseason.

They are 10-4-1 and are in a three-way mix for who will finish in second place in the Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division with Trinity and Susquehanna Township. Camp Hill is 16-0, and 12-0 in the conference. 

Susquehanna Township is 7-4 in the conference, Middletown 7-4-1, and Trinity 7-5.

The Raiders wrap up the regular season at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Milton Hershey. They return home for Senior Night at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at War Memorial Field vs. Susquehanna Township and finish at home Tuesday, Oct. 17 vs. Red Land.

Middletown 5, West Perry 1

The Raiders started strong Tuesday, Oct. 3, with their most complete team effort against the West Perry Mustangs. 

All pistons were firing for the Raiders as their defense was outstanding, midfield play dominating, and forwards the most creative and dangerous they have played this season. 

The Raiders generated three high-percentage scoring chances in the first several minutes, one from Thomas Einolf that required the Mustang keeper, Tony Kertulis, to parry the ball just wide of frame. The second came from the pursuing short corner that found Tyrrell Gallatin-Scott left open. However, he was just in the offsides position. The next was from a well-executed pass from Griffen Meyer that found Gallatin-Scott open once again. This time the shot was sent over the crossbar from about 7 yards out from goal. 

The Raiders were first to find the back of the net from a corner kick, one of nine earned in the contest. The corner was taken by Jacob Spear, who found the streaking David Alcock. A great header was perfectly placed to kiss the inside of the frame and give the Raiders a one-goal advantage. 

The relentless pressure continued, this time causing the Mustang defense to misplay the ball that Kertulis could not handle. Anthony Lavia pounced on the ball for the open netter and put the Raiders up by two goals. 

The third goal was from the work of Billy Cleland, who was strong with the dribble and drove deep into the Mustangs’ defense, causing them to foul him in the box. The resulting penalty kick was taken by Einolf, who rifled the shot beyond Kertulis diving to his left. 

The Raiders added to their lead with goal No. 4 as nice combination passing between Lavia and Einolf led to a hard strike to the far post for Einolf’s second goal. 

Alcock responded with his second goal of the contest when the quick through-in from Jacob Spear found Alcock positioned centrally. Alcock engineered a nice move to split two defenders and went straight to goal before striking the ball beyond Kertulis. 

The Raiders were unable to preserve the shutout. With only 14 minutes left, a long ball was played by Josh Rudy over the top of the Raider defense. The Raiders’ defense attempted to shield the ball back to Avery Williams in goal. However, the speed of Joey Wright allowed him to side step the Raider center back and take a quick touch to get beyond Williams for the open goal. 

Tommy Lee and Williams combined for 4 saves and the Raiders enjoyed a 22-5 shots advantage.

Camp Hill 5, Middletown 1

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the Raiders looked to carry the momentum that they gained from the West Perry match to Camp Hill. 

They started strong and were the first team to strike as they needed less than 6 minutes to score. The goal came from a nice give-and-go combination pass from Alcock to Gallatin-Scott back to Alcock that broke down the Lions’ back line. Once Alcock found himself behind the defensive backs, he struck the ball past the Lions keeper, Noah Smeriglio, who had little chance to make the save. 

The goal temporarily shocked and silenced the large Camp Hill crowd. But the Lions (16-0) intensified their play while the Raiders appeared to be content with the one-goal advantage, and looked as though they decreased their level of play a notch. 

The result was three straight goals from Camp Hill before the end of the first half. All three goals came from the craftiness of Amias Colestock. 

The first was assisted by Jake Coniglio who played a negative pass back to Colestock, allowing him to use his talented dribbling skills to get through the Raider defense and create space for the well-placed shot. 

The second came from the assist of Josh Goodyear. Colestock collected the defensive miss clear, and played a reversed flick over his head and right back to himself to create a one-on-one situation with Lee in goal. The third goal for Camp Hill came when Colestock returned the favor to Coniglio with a hard-driven cross was headed by Coniglio past Lee. 

Camp Hill extended its lead with two more goals in the second half. Once again, Colestock proved too much for the Raiders as the first save caromed off Williams in goal. The rebound fell to the foot of Colestock, who made good with the follow up chance. 

The last points came from a long ball sent high towards goal from Will Earhart that was weakly cleared from the goal box area. The ball fell to Matt Little, who struck the ball beyond Williams for the final game counter. 

The loss marks the most goals allowed by the Raiders for the season. Lee and Williams finished with 9 saves. 

Junior varsity

The junior varsity beat West Perry 2-1 and played to a scoreless draw against Camp Hill. 

In the West Perry contest, Jaden Miller scored from the assist of Zeryab Ibrahim. The second goal came from Ibrahim unassisted. With the two results this past week, the JV boys improve to a record of 7-2-2.