Second-half surge leads Millionaires over Seals
There were no formation or tactical adjustments done by Williamsport at halftime. Williamsport coach Lee Kaar simply told the team to keep their heads up and keep playing.
Williamsport limited Selinsgrove’s shots in the first half, but didn’t have a lead to show for it. So going into the second half tied, Kaar knew the Millionaires just had to do the little things in the second half to get that go-ahead goal.
It took Tom Pombor six minutes to do just that. Near the goal line Pombor quickly fired a great shot to his right toward the far post.
The goal gave the Millionaires the lead again and Williamsport scored four more in the second half for a convincing 5-1 win over Selinsgrove in a battle of two of the top HAC-I teams on a rainy Wednesday night at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex.
“I thought for the whole half we out-played them. Just a matter of doing the little things,” Kaar said. “Kind of did remind them that we don’t have to just have the outside (midfielders) flying down to the corners. We can have an attacking middy go out. I thought it was just keep your head, keep composure, keep poised and keep working.”
And the Millionaires (12-3, 8-3 HAC-I) kept working throughout the entire second half against the Seals (11-4, 7-3 HAC-I). In the final 10 minutes, they scored three goals to pull away. In the second half, Williamsport also put all six shot attempts on goal.
After going ahead 2-1, it was Tiarnan Ferry who got a through ball 12 yards out and took a sliding shot to the right post for a 3-1 lead with 8:39 to play.
Ferry then scored less than three minutes later when he was sent a cross near the goal line from Pombor which he tucked just inside the far post from just outside the 6-yard box.
“I just saw him wide open, so I just played it to him because I know he’s going to be there all the time,” Pombor said.
The Millionaires’ final goal came with 1:29 to play when Sam Hillman lined up for a penalty kick, sent it to his right and had it hit off Selinsgrove’s goalie in the goal for a 5-1 lead.
Williamsport took advantage of playing the long ball, especially in the second half, and had success getting guys in position to make plays.
“They were playing high and we have two forwards who are pretty quick and have pretty fast outside middies from our starters to three, four guys off bench who have speed,” Kaar said. “So that will open things up there and that will open up center of field the more we do that. It’s not kickball, where we’re just kicking it and see if we can run onto it. There’s a plan there that seemed to benefit us tonight.”
Selinsgrove’s offense struggled against Williamsport. The Seals managed to fire only five shots, three of which were on frame. The only goal Selinsgrove managed came in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
From about 30 yards out, Tiago Marques lined up a free kick and drilled it to the right post with 9:03 left in the first half to tie the game at 1-1.
Williamsport goalie J.R. Confair blocked both of Selinsgrove’s second-half shots.
“It feels good to show them how we play. I don’t think we played our game down at Selinsgrove,” Kaar said of losing to the Seals, 4-3, last month. “Always good to get a little redemption on a team.”
Pombor gave Williamsport the early 1-0 lead with 11:25 to play when he made a great header to get the ball past a handful of Selisngrove defenders and took a 1-v-1 look and sent the shot to the right post.
But despite the possession advantage through the first 40 minutes — in addition to holding an overall 6-2 shots advantage — the Millionaires had only two shots on goal and went into the half tied 1-1.
“Whole first half, just felt it was a matter of time. Same way in second half, we go up 2-1 and I’m like ‘all right, let’s go.’ So just a matter of time,” Kaar said. “We have a lot of guys who do the little things correctly that end up benefiting our two main goal scorers.”
Williamsport 5, Selinsgrove 1
W–Tom Pombor, 11:25. S–Tiago Marques, 9:03. W–Pombor, 34:50. W–Tiarnan Ferry, 8:39. W–Ferry (Pombor), 5:58. W–Sam Hillman (penalty kick), 1:29.
Shots: S 3, W 8. Corners: S 2, W 6. Saves: S (Dylan Pardoe) 3, W (J.R. Confair) 2.
Records: Williamsport (12-3), Selinsgrove (11-4). Next game: Williamsport at Midd-West, Saturday, 7 p.m.