Stopped short

With under a minute to play, Williamsport was hoping to convert a goal off a corner kick. The ball was sent in perfectly inside the 18, but despite rolling around and taking some bounces, no Millionaire managed to get a shot off. With another corner kick coming and under 30 seconds left, Williamsport knew it needed to score.

But once again, the ball was sent inside the 18 and took a handful of bounces before Midd-West goalie Tyler Martin grabbed it right as the countdown began at 10 seconds.

The Midd-West fans in attendance began cheering as soon as the countdown started, knowing they secured the win. The Mustangs held off Williamsport late in the second half for a tough 2-1 victory at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex on Saturday evening.

The Millionaires (9-7) pressured in the second half, recording three shots on goal, but Williamsport wasn’t able to put in a go-ahead goal against Midd-West (12-3-1).

Midd-West got both its goals off solid corner kicks sent directly inside the 18 just in front of the goal box. And both times, Midd-West’s Cole Sauer was on the receiving end. In the first half with 8:35 to play, Sauer headed in a shot perfectly to the left post. In the second half, it was a great header to the far post.

“Sauer is a heck of a player. We had him marked the first time. He got a little bit of separation and a kid like that talent, that’s all he needs: a little bit of separation,” Williamsport coach Lee Kaar said. “I think we had the plan, we knew he’s the guy on their team and he got loose two times and scored both times. That’s tough to take, we had them marked and their guy got just a little separation and was able to score. Offensively, we need to be able to create that same separation in our end.”

Twelve minutes into the second half, the Millionaires scored to tie it up. Tom Pombor sent a great pass to his left to Tiarnan Ferry, who dribbled it down to roughly 15 yards out. With a Midd-West player directly behind him, Ferry let go a shot at the last second and had a great shot to the right post to tie the game at 1-1.

The Millionaires had a free kick about 30 yards deep less than five minutes later, but the hard shot by Williamsport’s Lukas Radulski was fired right at Midd-West keeper Tyler Martin, who prevented the go-ahead goal.

Sauer scored his second goal with 14:40 to play off a corner kick to reclaim the lead for Midd-West at 2-1.

“Obviously we need to keep our composure (and) keep playing (after they tied it). These guys have done a pretty good job. We haven’t had many games that weren’t close,” Midd-West coach Chris Sauer said. “We’ve been in that situation numerous times all season. Lot of these guys have played a lot of soccer and they can handle those situations and they showed it tonight.”

The Millionaires had some nice chances in the first half. Just over three minutes into the game, Sam Hillman got it outside the 18 and tried firing a nice shot to the left post, but had it go just wide. About a minute later, Kolachi Pombor had a great header from about 10 yards out, but had it also unfortunately go wide.

Alex Morrow then had a free kick from about 25 yards out with 25:26 to play in first half, but Martin came up with a stop for the Mustangs.

“I thought we played decently, didn’t take advantage of swinging the ball to the weak side enough I don’t think, but I thought we played a good game, good enough to win, just made two lapses on defensive end and came back to hurt us.”

The Millionaires have one game remaining in the regular season before the District 2-4 playoffs begin when they host Shikellamy on Wednesday evening.

MW-Cole Sauer, 8:35. W-Tiarnan Ferry (Tom Pombor), 28:33. MW-Sauer, 14:40.

Shots: MW 4, W 4. Corners: MW 3, W 3. Saves: MW (Tyler Martin) 3, W (JR Confair) 2.

Records: Midd-West (12-3-1), Williamsport (9-7). Next game: Shikellamy at Williamsport, Wednesday, 7 p.m.