Millionaire boys move ball well and score plenty

Every game, the Williamsport coaching staff gives the players a handful of key points to take into the game and for the past few games, the Millionaires have tried forcing things a little bit on the offensive end.

So Williamsport coach Lee Kaar and his staff were stressing movement off the ball. Kaar knew that it can create things for the offense.

So that is what Williams­port’s coaching staff stressed entering Saturday afternoon’s game against Hazleton and Williamsport executed it perfectly. The Millionaires were solid all 80 minutes, possessing essentially the entire game and won in a rout over Hazleton, 8-1, at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex.

“Previous couple games, we tried to force everything one way and we weren’t really learning from that quickly enough. So we were happy with how we were moving the ball side to side, down the corners and finding those gaps in the middle kind of thing to attack,” Kaar said. “I’m definitely happy with offensive production, but more pleased with guys finding feet and moving off the ball.

“That can create a lot of things, whether it’s creating space for center middies (or) creating space for outside middies flying down corner,” Kaar said. “I think a lot of movement creates things for us to then find feet.”

After having a handful of great chances in the first 15 minutes, Williamsport finally started putting in some goals and getting things going.

Dylan Garner sent a nice pass from about 40 yards out to Jeremiah Williams, who drilled a shot from around the corner of the 18 toward the left post to give Williamsport an early 1-0 lead with 23:55 to play in the first half. Three minutes later, Tom Pombor chased down a ball to about outside of the 6-yard box and tapped in a shot just past Hazleton’s goalie as he leapt over him trying to prevent a shot for a 2-0 lead with 20 minutes to play until halftime.

Williamsport led 5-0 by halftime as Sam Hillman put in two great goals within just a 42-second span for a quick 4-0 lead. Hillman’s first of those two goals came on a corner kick that he perfectly sent and curved in to the far post.

The last first-half goal came with just 23 seconds to play when Pombor fed Tiarnan Ferry the ball about 10 yards out and Ferry sent it to the left post.

For the Millionaires, it all boils down to quality shots and knowing when to fire. Williamsport held a 14-2 shots on goal advantage and took a total of 24 shots, just narrowly missing the goal in the first half a handful of times.

“We don’t want shots from 30 yards out. I think we’ve done a good job, the guys typically don’t do that. Guys are smart enough to realize even if they have an open look from 30, that’s not a quality look,” Kaar said. “Like I said, we just try to continue to not force things. If we’re not getting good looks one way, pull out, reset, recycle and attack a different way kind of thing.”

The Millionaires tacked on three more goals in the second half. Caleb Hill scored just four minutes into the first half for a 6-0 lead when he fired a shot roughly 10 yards out through a crowd of Hazleton defenders for the goal and then it was Williams who put the mercy rule into play when he scored to the right post from eight yards out.

Hazleton avoided being shut out when Gabe Fabian scored from about 16 yards out to make it an 8-1 deficit. Hazleton had just one shot in goal in each half, both coming from Fabian, as Williamsport rarely allowed Hazleton to get into position to take shots or possess the ball.

W–Jeremiah Williams (Dylan Garner), 23:55. W–Tom Pombor, 20:09. W–Sam Hillman (corner kick), 5:21. W–Hillman, 4:39. W–Tiarnan Ferry (Pombor), 0:23. W–Caleb Hill, 36:12. W–Williams (Liam Ferry), 31:31. W–J.R. Confair (Jon Cramer), 14:34. H–Gabe Fabian, 11:03.

Shots: H 2, W 14. Corners: H 2, W 12. Saves: H (Jeremy Aquino) 5, W (J.R. Confair, Nate Poweley) 0.

Records: Williamsport (10-3, 6-3 HAC-I).