TURBOTVILLE - It's a good thing that old saying about horseshoes and hand grenades really does just involve those two activities.
If the saying applied at all to soccer, Warrior Run would have beaten Montoursville by a much wider margin than the 3-0 score it defeated the Warriors by on Thursday.
Warrior Run, playing in its first game since an eight-day layoff, recorded 15 shots on goal, with a couple tap-in chances in each half.
"This is our first game in eight days and our challenge was just to get into game mode," Warrior Run coach Doug Bastian said. "After days of just playing against yourself, you can get complacent. The challenge to the team was just to pick up where we left off."
Despite the eight-day layoff, the Defenders peppered Montoursville's goal throughout the day, needing only one breakthrough, but getting three, as they held Montoursville without a shot on goal.
"That's kind of been our mantra all year to limit the shots for the other team," Bastian said. "Obviously, the best defense is a good offense and we really wanted the boys to continue to attack."
Maybe being a little too aggressive to compensate for the eight-day stretch, Warrior Run missed on plenty of scoring chances in the first half. The most obvious misses came on sure tap-in chances that somehow missed the goal all together.
But the team's stress was quickly vanquished when Elias George sent a low rolling shot through the defense and under Montoursville's keeper for the early edge.
"It gives us a lot of confidence and helps us relax," George said. "We're not forced to go forward, because we aren't in a tie and we can just relax and keep possession with the ball."
"It always sets the tone for the game," Bastian said of the early goal. "It gives you confidence and the other team starts thinking 'uh-oh we could be in for a long afternoon.'"
It certainly wasn't the start Montoursville was looking for, but, even with the early goal, the players refused to hang their heads.
Montoursville, which played a counter-attack style most of the day, made it difficult for Warrior Run to break through its defense. The backline prevented attempts by intercepting passes in the box and blocking shots with their bodies.
"We wanted to stand the kids up and not overcommit," Montoursville coach Rich Marriott said. "If you overcommit against a team like Warrior Run they have some goal scorers that will make you look silly. If you stand the defense up then you don't have to win the ball, you just have to win the play."
On a few occasions Montoursville won the ball and sent a small group forward in hopes of a quick surge against inferior numbers. Warrior Run, though, used its speed to get to the ball before any damage could be done.
"When you're playing against the best defense in our area, you have to go for the counter," Marriott said. "We scored on them the first time around, but I don't know if they've given up a goal against anybody else."
WR-Elias George (unassisted), 10:03; WR-Austin Bower (unassisted), 31:38; WR-Chris Schaeffer (unassisted), 54:12.
Shots: M 2 WR 15. Shots on goal: M 0 WR 10. Corners: M 0 WR 8. Saves: M (Sawyer Bressler) 7, WR (Jason McWilliams/Zachary Stump) 0.
Records: Warrior Run 11-0. Montoursville 5-7. Next: Warrior Run at Hughesville, Tuesday, 4 p.m. Athens at Montoursville, Saturday, 11 a.m.