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Williamsport beats Central Mountain in boys soccer to open season with a win

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Williamsport’s Michael Collyer and Central Mountain’s Caden Malek try to gain control of the ball during a game Tuesday at the Balls Mills Soccer Club. The Millionaires won, 3-1, on their senior day.

Williamsport coach Lee Kaar wasn’t exactly sure what to expect entering Williamsport’s season opener Tuesday afternoon at the Balls Mills Soccer Club.

The COVID-19 pandemic obviously affected the offseason workouts this summer and Williamsport didn’t have its entire team for scrimmages before the season began.

But once Tuesday’s game got started against Central Mountain, the Millionaires looked as if nothing was out of place. Williamsport scored just 2 minutes into Tuesday’s game and scored their first half goals en route to a season-opening 3-1 win on senior day against the Wildcats.

“We weren’t 100% sure what to expect. We had a scrimmage day, but we had a couple guys out and even tonight, we have some injuries that we’re working through already,” Kaar said. “But when you score first and score that early, that lets the guys take a deep breath and be like ‘OK, let’s go.'”

Williamsport (1-0) kept pressure against Central Mountain (0-2) the entire first half and kept possession the majority of the opening 40 minutes.

Zach Lake scored Williamsport’s opening goal 1 minute, 54 seconds into the game when he slid and got off a great shot to the far right post just out of Central Mountain goalie Cy Probst’s hands.

Williamsport scored 16 minutes later when Owen Kaar sent a great corner kick to just outside of the 6-yard box to Logan Hall, who used his body to send it in for a 2-0 lead.

“I think little mistakes cost us, but Williamsport always does a good job getting into really dangerous spots and we weren’t there to clean it up,” Central Mountain coach Billy Hook said. “They took advantage. Second half we got that cleaned up.”

Jimmy Pombor sent a beautiful pass between a Central Mountain defender’s legs from roughly 40 yards out to Lake, who dribbled it inside of the 18. Lake finished and buried a great shot to the left post to put the Millionaires ahead, 3-0, with 6 minutes left to play until halftime.

“He brings some hustle and some strength,” Kaar said of Lake. “He definitely brings some of that aggressiveness and strength that we like inside the box.”

Central Mountain broke up the shutout bid thanks to a call inside the box that gave the Wildcats a penalty kick with 7:17 to play. That’s when Nate Brinker lined up and drilled a shot to the right post just out of goalie Elliott Wannop’s reach to cut the deficit to two. However that would be the closest Central Mountain would cut the deficit.

The Wildcats had various opportunities throughout he game, but Williamsport’s defense did an outstanding job in preventing Central Mountain many looks from inside the 18. Aside from the penalty kick, Central Mountain had just one shot come from within the 18.

“It starts back with Elliott (Wannop) and Tyler (Fausnaught). Elliott between the pipes, he has a very large presence and a very large wingspan,” Kaar said. “Then his communication comes through Tyler and Tyler sees everything and really reads the game well to cut off any of those potential chances that Central Mountain had tonight. It’s going to be a long season and we have a lot of work to do yet.”

The Wildcats had six shots on goal, two of which came from both Chase Young and Brinker.

One of the best chances the Wildcats had came with 34:39 to play in the second half when Young fired a great hard shot toward the center of the net that Wannop caught.

With just over 2 minutes to play, Peyton Jones had a high shot for Central Mountain towards the left, but Wannop came up again big with a stop.

“We had chances, we don’t have a guy who has a lot of goals to his name and that confidence I think, so we just need to hopefully get (that),” Hook said. “We definitely had chances, I’m happy with that for sure.”

Williamsport 3, CM 1

W– Zach Lake, 38:06. W–Logan Hall (Owen Kaar), 22:28. W–Lake (Jimmy Pombor), 6:02. CM–Nate Brinker (penalty kick), 7:17.

Shots: CM 6, W 8. Corners: CM 0, W 6. Saves: CM 3 (Cy Probst), W 4 (Elliott Wannop).

Records: Central Mountain (0-2), Williamsport (1-0).

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