Williamsport’s Ferry named Boys Soccer Player of Year

Williamsport's Tiarnan Ferry plays during a game earlier this season. (SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

The Williamsport coaching staff may have wondered just a little bit what would happen this year after moving Tiarnan Ferry from midfield to forward. Anytime you move a kid to a new position, regardless of how talented they are, they may need a little time to adjust.

Even Ferry had no idea what to really expect.

“I knew the expectations were different, and scoring was the job of the forward rather than the bonus it was at midfield,” Ferry said. “I was a little nervous going into it, but the first few games of the season helped build the confidence that it took to keep the ball rolling through the season.”

And if scoring was the job of the forward, Ferry owned that job.

Ferry never struggled there, and came out looking like a natural.

The Williamsport senior put together a remarkable senior year and Ferry’s play all season long and being an impact player helped him earn the Williamsport Sun-Gazette’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year honor. Other area players considered for the honor included Wellsboro’s Gabe Leach, Sullivan County’s Lucas Shultz, Williamsport’s J.R. Confair and Lewisburg’s Ben Liscum and Tommy Bhangdia.

Ferry’s move to forward benefitted the Millionaires, as he ended the season with 28 goals scored, second-most in The Sun-Gazette coverage area behind Wellsboro’s Tanner Runyan (29).

“He played as a midfielder last year, but moving him up front this year really allowed him to have some more freedom and it allowed our team some more freedom as well. Having he and Tom (Pombor) working off one another was huge in the fact that if a defense keyed in on one of them, the other was able to find an opening,” Williamsport boys coach Lee Kaar said. “Teams would literally have four, five, and even six guys back trying to figure out how to mark the two of them and then we were often able to bring more midfielders into the play. So, yes, even when ‘T’ didn’t have the ball, his constant movement and work ethic on the pitch created space for many of his teammates to benefit.”

Ferry was named to the Heartland Coaches Division-1 all-star team as a first-team forward and he displayed his athletic ability the entire season.

Ferry also dished out 11 assists, second on the team behind only Sam Hillman’s 14. He started the year with eight consecutive games scoring at least one goal, and scored multiple goals in all but two of those games. He only failed to score a goal or have an assist in five of Williamsport’s games, but in those games, was a threat who got opportunities.

He ended the year with three hat tricks, including one in the District 2-4 Class AAAA semifinals and had a goal and two assists in the district final. In Williamsport’s first-round state playoff loss, Ferry had a handful of chances to score.

“When he steps onto the pitch he’s a high energy kind of player who causes problems in that he’s not a straight forward, he’s very shifty — he makes his runs differently throughout the game so his movements are often difficult to predict,” Kaar said. “What was helpful for us this year is that we wanted to play a high pressure style of play. It’s one thing when we had the ball to be able to control things, but having a player like T and Tom (Pombor) allowed us to pressure the ball when our opponents had it in their half of the field.”

And that success up top and leading the team in goals scored was something that came as a surprise to Ferry.

“I was definitely a little surprised about all the goals this season. I thought maybe I just had a couple good games right at the beginning, and I surely did not expect to keep that up,” Ferry said. “However, in every game from then on, my teammates kept giving me really good opportunities that I would capitalize on. Sammy (Hillman) and Gabe (McKeon) would always look to turn and play the through ball which would give me a lot of opportunities. It was great having Tom (Pombor) making good runs in the district final which allowed me to bait the defenders and dish it off to him for the goal.”

As the year went on and Ferry continued to play excellent up top, defenses were forced to try and contain him, which was easier said than done.

“(Being marked) only sort of happened in the second half of the season and when it did, it wasn’t too fun as you can imagine,” Ferry said. “It was much harder for me to find chances to score, but it allowed our team to play a different style, where I looked to drop the ball to the middies or the wings for the shot. It was cool.”

2017 SUN-GAZETTE SOCCER ALL-STARS

FIRST TEAM

TOMMY BHANGDIA, LEWISBURG, F — It’s tough coming back from a knee injury, but Bhangdia not only made a great comeback for his senior year, he excelled for Lewisburg. Bhangdia was second on the team in goals scored with 21, behind only freshman Ben Liscum, and dished out 12 assists. He proved to be a great offensive threat for the Green Dragons all year long, routinely finding his way through defenses and getting off shots. Bhangdia got praise from numerous opposing coaches and was often a player they marked to try to neutralize. Bhangdia was named Heartland Coaches Division-1 first-team forward.

TANNER RUNYAN, WELLSBORO, F — Wellsboro led the area in shots and goals scored and Runyan was an offensive threat all year long. Runyan led Wellsboro with 29 goals scored — most in the area — and helped the Green Hornets win 20 games and the program’s first district championship and first state playoff tournament game. Runyan had plenty of speed to get by opposing defenders and was a player defenses had to mark. Runyan was a first-team Northern Tier League forward all-star selection and was also named NTL Offensive Player of the Year.

LUCAS SHULTZ, SULLIVAN COUNTY, F — Shultz was a huge piece of the Griffins success this past season. The senior forward scored over 25 goals this year for Sullivan County to help lead the offense and earn a District 4 playoff berth. Shultz was named a Mid-Penn Conference first-team all-star at forward while also being named as an all-state selection, joining fellow classmate Macy McCarthy representing Sullivan County.

GABE LEACH, WELLSBORO, M — Leach helped control Wellsboro’s midfield and made it tough for opposing players to get by for scoring chances. Leach led Wellsboro with an impressive 28 assists – averaging 1.3 per game — while also scoring 10 goals. Leach was a Northern Tier League first-team all-star selection at midfield and was also named all-state for the Green Hornets.

BEN LISCUM, LEWISBURG, M — Considering Liscum is just a freshman, his season is even more impressive when you break his stats down. Liscum led a potent Lewisburg team in both goals (24) and assists (15) and was constantly in opposing territory rifling off shots. Liscum and teammate Tommy Bhangdia were a very solid 1-2 scoring threat for the Green Dragons this year, and Liscum made scoring goals look almost too easy at times. Liscum was a first-team midfield selection for the Heartland Coaches Division-1 all-star team.

NATE LISCUM, LEWISBURG, M — Liscum was named Heartland Coaches Division-1 first-team all-star at midfield for the Green Dragons, was named Division 1 Most Valuable Player by the coaches and was selected as an all-state player this year. Not a bad senior season resume. Liscum had five goals and six assists for the Green Dragons and like his brother, Ben, proved to be a solid player to control the midfield.

GABE MCKEON, WILLIAMSPORT, D — The Millionaires allowed less than a goal per game this year – allowing just 16 all season – and McKeon was a big reason why in the back for Williamsport. McKeon helped control a defensive unit for the Millionaires and was named a Heartland Coaches Division-1 first-team all-star at defender this season alongside teammate Zach Schwoyer.

REESE MOORE, LEWISBURG, D — If you wanted to see just how solid Moore was to the Green Dragons’ defense, look at the district championship and state playoffs as some exhibits. Moore came up clutch for Lewisburg in the state semifinals against Lancaster Mennonite, clearing a would-be goal at the last moment from the line to keep the game scoreless. He did the same in the district final against Midd-West to force double overtime. Moore perfectly embodied what Lewisburg’s defense was and was a Heartland Coaches Division-I first-team all-star at defender.

SEBASTIAN GUERRERO, LEWISBURG, D — It shouldn’t come as a surprise Lewisburg has two first-team defensive players on this all-star team. Reese Moore exemplified his play in districts, but Guerrero was just as tough in the back for a Lewisburg team that only allowed 13 goals all year long. Guerrero, like Moore, was also a Heartland Coaches-Division 1 first-team all-star choice at defender this year.

CAM TENNIS, WELLSBORO, D — The Green Hornets only allowed 12 goals all year and consider Tennis a big reason why. Tennis helped anchor the Wellsboro back line. He may not have shown up in box scores all the time, but he helped prevent easy shots from opposing teams and limited opposing offenses to roughly five shots per game.

J.R. CONFAIR, WILLIAMSPORT, GK — Confair played great in goal for Williamsport all year. The junior keeper posted 10 shutouts while going 14-4 in goal and recorded 86 saves, averaging 4.3 per game. Confair was named a Heartland Coaches second-team all-star selection.

SECOND TEAM

F-Tom Pombor, Williamsport

F-Tyrese Hazzoum, Warrior Run

F-Austin Lewis, Hughesville

M-Jordan Morrison, Warrior Run

M-Brett Rudy, Wellsboro

M-Ryan Veloz, Lewisburg

D-Zach Schwoyer, Williamsport

D-Brody Heller, Hughesville

D-Kylan Kurtz, Warrior Run

D-Nic Ingerick, Wellsboro

GK-Nate Redell, Wellsboro

HONORABLE MENTION

(in alphabetical order)

Alex Butzler, Jersey Shore; Dominic Caputo, Montoursville; Cameron Fiester, Sullivan County; Noah Fitch, Wellsboro; Alex Frederick, Warrior Run; Cole Geiger, Milton; Jacob Haag, Jersey Shore; Alex Hazzoum, Warrior Run; Tucker Hays, Warrior Run; Seth Griggs, Montoursville; Sam Hillman, Williamsport; Charlie Hunt, Loyalsock; Jonah Isaacson, Montoursville; Levi Kennel, Warrior Run; James Koconis, Lewisburg; Justus Leighow, Hughesville; Brian Lewis, Sullivan County; Calvin Lesser, Jersey Shore; Colton Loreman, Milton; Kaeden Mann, Wellsboro; Sam Miller, Lewisburg; Steven Millheim, Hughesville; Nick Musto, Montoursville; Nathan Paisley, Muncy; Bryce Phillips, Muncy; Ian Plankenhorn, Montoursville; Johnny Rowland, Wellsboro; Connor Rude, Loyalsock; Isaiah Savage, Hughesville; Alex Schluter, Loyalsock; Dean Seman, South Williamsport; Angelo Silvagni, Montoursville; Caleb Snyder, South Williamsport; Zac Stopper, Loyalsock; Alex Trunzo, Jersey Shore; Nathan Wetherhold, Muncy; Ben Wescott, Loyalsock; Brian Yoas, South Williamsport; Alex Yoder, Milton

COMMENTS