Wellsboro knocks out Neumann

St. John Neumann was looking for its first district playoff win in about 10 years, while Wellsboro was looking for its first district playoff win ever.

Wellsboro ended the drought.

Erik Stemcosky scored two goals with an assist to give Wellsboro a 4-1 win over St. John Neumann on Wednesday night in a District 4 Class A boys soccer playoff game at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex. It was Wellsboro’s first playoff win in program history.

“It means a lot for the boys, we’ve made it to districts,” Wellsboro coach John Shaffer said. “We’ve had really close games the last three years and this group of seniors has experienced competitive, district games without being able to get over the hump and they were able to get over that mountain top tonight. So it’s a huge win for them.”

Wellsboro’s offense was conservative in the first half as it only scored one goal but it came out much more aggressive in the second half and it didn’t take long for the aggressiveness to pay off. Worthington scored his second goal 46 seconds into the second half off a deflected shot.

“We have a very talented group of attacking players,” said Shaffer. “We focus on playing quick and in the first half we kind of played not to lose because we’re not use to winning district games and in the second half I encouraged them to play to win.”

Wellsboro’s third goal came on a nice give-and-go between Worthington and Aaron Dillman and its fourth goal came on a header off a deflection by Dan Brooks.

The defense also played well led by Joe Allen and Nick Webster and limited the Knights offense to just three shots on goal.

Wellsboro will play Millville in the district quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be announced.

Neumann played hard and fought the whole game but it couldn’t keep up with the fast Wellsboro offense. Neumann is one of the smallest schools in the district and the team only has 13 players.

Neumann stuck with the Green Hornets in the first half, but the Knights couldn’t keep it close as Wellsboro scored three consecutive goals in the second half.

Neumann has eight seniors on its team and the eight went down fighting.

“These seniors, I’ve been with this program for five years and I’ve seen them since eighth grade and it’s very tough to see them go out this way,” Neumann coach Chris Vanaskie said. “They brought this program to new heights this season and from where we came its amazing for what they’ve done.”

Seniors Nate Mc-Fadden, Cody Forsburg, Hayden Forquer and John Wright played well on defense while fellow seniors Noah Beiter, Ben Facey, Geoff Kist and Luke Iarkowski controlled the offense.

Sophmores Anthony Pasnello and Andrew Roman also played well. Pasnello was all over the field and Roman played a good game in goal.

W – Tucker Worthington, 32:17, W – Worthington, 40:46, W – Aaron Dillman (Worthington), 70:07, W – Dan Brooks, 75:08. SJN – Austin Champion (Ben Facey), 75:46.

Shots on goal: N-3; W- 9. Corner kicks: N- 4; W- 5. Saves: N-5; W-2. Goalies: Neumann (Andrew Roman); Wellsboro (Jake Mitchell)

Records: Wellsboro 15-4.