Williamsport boys reach title game with rout of Hazleton

RALPH WILSON/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Williamsport’s Tiarnan Ferry (11) scores early in the the first half of a District 2-4 Class AAAA semifinal soccer game against Hazleton on Wednesday at the Balls Mills Soccer Club.

It didn’t matter that Williamsport was ahead by four goals coming out of the half. Lee Kaar wanted to see his Millionaires team come out with intensity, as if the game was a scoreless draw, in the second half.

He told his team to avoid being complacent and lazy and don’t just sit on their lead.

The Millionaires not only listened, but executed in the second half as well as they could. Tiarnan Ferry and Tom Pombor both scored in less than a minute and Williamsport cruised to a convincing 9-0 rout of Hazleton in the District 2-4 Class AAAA semifinals at Balls Mills on Wednesday evening.

With the win, Williamsport hosts the district championship game next week at Balls Mills against either Delaware Valley or Scranton, who play today.

“It’s so easy to fall into just some laziness out there and just go through the motions. I do like seeing some intensity and fire in fact that we were able to see a little more creativity out there, but the intensity being picked up was good to see,” Kaar said.

Ferry scored the first of Williamsport’s five second-half goals just 20 seconds into the half when he took a cross from Simon Wallace and put in a shot to the left post from 6 yards out.

Pombor scored 40 seconds later on a nice shot from outside the 6-yard box.

Ferry ended with a hat trick, scoring his final goal with 27:07 to play, on an assist by Fisher to put the Millionaires ahead, 8-0. Pombor also had two goals for Williamsport.

Williamsport kept possession throughout the entire game, allowing only one shot on goal from the Cougars in each half as Williamsport fired 20, including 11 in the first half.

But despite playing Hazleton earlier in the year and winning that regular-season matchup 8-1, Kaar knew what the Cougars were capable of.

“We obviously had a favorable outcome, but it’s playoffs and there’s a little bit more intensity there,” Kaar said. “I thought they’d pack it in a little bit more and look to counter. They have two or three guys that do have a considerable amount of speed. Not changing any style that we play, but more keeping an eye on those two or three players with speed so we aren’t letting up a counter attack.”

Williamsport’s offense struck as quickly in the first half as it did in the second half. Just over two minutes into the game, Wallace quickly dished a pass to Ferry from 4 yards out, and Ferry tapped in the opening score with a heel kick

Seven minutes later, it was Wallace who got the ball 6 yards out and fired a great shot toward the far post just past diving Hazleton goalie Jeremy Aquino.

Williamsport was constantly in Hazleton’s 18, peppering Aquino left and right in both halves. Aquino finished with 11 saves.

With 13:18 to play, Caden Fisher made a great pass to Pombor, who dribbled around two defenders and drilled a shot to the far post in a 1-v-1 scenario to give Williamsport a 3-0 lead.

A penalty kick with 8:53 to play by Sam Hillman helped Williamsport increase the lead to 4-0. Caleb Hill gave Williamsport a 7-0 lead with 32:36 left in the game and Fisher scored off an assist by Jon Cramer with 19:10 to play to record the Millionaires’ final goal.

Williamsport 9, Hazleton 0

W–Tiarnan Ferry (Simon Wallace), 37:50. W–Wallace, 30:54. W–Tom Pombor (Caden Fisher), 13:18. W–Sam Hillman (penalty kick), 8:53. W–Ferry (Wallace), 39:40. W–Pombor (Lucas Taveras), 38:58. W–Caleb Hill (Ferry), 32:36. W–Ferry (Fisher), 27:07. W–Fisher (Jon Cramer), 19:10.

Shots: H 2, W 20. Corners: H 1, W 4. Saves: H (Jeremy Aquino) 10, W (JR Confair 2, Nate Powley 0, Wes Engel 0), 2.