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Boys soccer best of 2010s: A look at the best boys soccer games of the decade

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first part of a five-part series revealing the best boys soccer games of the 2010s.

To choose just 15 games to list as the area’s best games of the past decade wasn’t an easy task. There’s been a ton of great thrillers over the past 10 seasons, from regular-season matchups to state playoff games and championships.

The 2010s was full of exciting games as you’ll see in each day’s edition.

15.) Warrior Run 2, Midd-West 1, 2013 DISTRICT 4 CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS

While Warrior Run scored two goals in this game, it boiled down to defensive play and the Defenders were able to get the edge over perenniel district power Midd-West.

That backline of Warrior Run proved huge in the game’s first 15 minutes to help set the tone. Despite the fact Midd-West possessed majority of that time, the Mustangs had just two shots on goal, both clearing the crossbar.

Sebastian Callendar scored the first goal of the game with 10 minutes to play to put Midd-West ahead, 1-0. Konnor Sidler scored three minutes into the second half to tie the game before Elias George came up big with a goal off a Zack Miller assist in the 66th minute.

“We just told the boys they have to maintain their composure. Playing into this wind to start, we’d have our chances in the second half,” Warrior Run coach Doug Bastian said after the game. “I’m proud they played with that much composure, starting two freshmen and two sophomores.”

The Mustangs had just one second-half chance to score as Warrior Run kept playing tremendous defense. Tyler Arbogast had a breakaway in the 53rd minute, but his shot was high.

It’d be the last chance the Mustangs had at scoring the go-ahead goal before George scored later.

“We’ve been working all week on solid team defense. Reassure, reassure, reassure,” George said after the game. “We’re out a starter on defense (James Hamm) with a toe injury, but we hope he’ll be back. We really came together.”

George also in that game pointed out the defensive play of Chase Snyder, Alex Wehr and NicK Mccormack.

14.) Midd-West 5, Montoursville 3 (SO), 2016 DISTRICT 4 CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS

Montoursville entered the district playoffs that season as one of the lower seeds in the field, sneaking in with a 9-7-1 record thanks to a winning two of its final three games against South Williamsport and Hughesville.

Most people assumed the Mustangs would cruise to a win against a lower-seeded team.

The Warriors weren’t going to go down without a fight.

Montoursville played phenomenal defense as Midd-West rifled 14 shots on goal and Montoursville goalie Ben King came up with 11 big saves. It was needed given the Warriors’ offense was held to two shots all game.

“By far the MVP of this game. He made unbelievable saves,” Montoursville coach Kevin Werkmeister said of King. “He played well above himself.”

Midd-West kept constant pressure on Montoursville, especially in both overtime periods. The Warriors didn’t record a shot in overtime and Werkmeister admitted he was hoping at that point they could force a shootout.

Both teams converted their first three shots of the game, including a big one for Montoursville which rolled in after bouncing off Midd-West goalie Tyler Martin’s hands.

Josh Kula, Nick Musto and Isaac Miller came through for Montoursville in the first three rounds and Trevor Leitzel, Carter Knepp and Cole Sauer converted for Midd-West to make it 3-3.

Hunter Gilbert converted Midd-West’s fourth attempt, but Montoursville’s fourth attempt hit just off the post.

“Off the post, an inch one way, it would’ve been a goal,” Werkmeister said.

13.) Wilkes-Barre 4, Williamsport 3 (SO), 2019 DISTRICT 2-4 CLASS AAAA SEMIFINALS

This game was tied at 2-2 after two overtime periods and had to go to a shootout and Williamsport’s fate came down to its fifth and final kick. Tyler Fausnaught was the Millionaires’ fifth kicker. He had a great attempt on his shot, but Wilkes-Barre goalie Joel Vasquez read it perfectly and dove to block it with his hand and seal the win for Wilkes-Barre in the shootout, 4-3.

“He guessed right on that one and it was a heck of a save,” Wilkes-Barre coach Jack Nolan said after the game.

It was an emotional ending for Williamsport, knowing they were so close to being the program’s first four-peat champions since 1986-89.

“It may seem very cliche, but our guys left it on the field. I was pleased with our effort. … It was a good game,” Williamsport coach Lee Kaar said.

Williamsport made its first attempt on a rekick and the Wolfpack then tied it up. Both teams made their third and fourth kicks to make it a 3-3 shootout. The fourth shot for the Wolfpack went just past Elliott Wannop’s hands to put Wilkes-Barre up, 4-3.

Jimmy Pombor scored both of Williamsport’s goals in regulation.

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