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Lewisburg routs Wyoming Seminary 6-0 in first round of PIAA Class AA tournament

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Lewisburg's Anthony Bhangdia celebrates with teammates after he scored a goal in the first half against Wyoming Seminary on Tuesday in Danville.

All it took was 71 seconds for Lewisburg to set the tone early against Wyoming Seminary. The Green Dragons have an offense that can strike as fast as lightning, and it showed that quickly into Tuesday night’s PIAA Class AA playoff game at Danville’s Ironmen Stadium.

Elijah Adams found himself inside the 18-yard box and once he got the ball, sent it to his left to Alan Daniel, who wasted no time burying the shot. It was a quick goal that put Wyoming Seminary quickly on the defensive.

The Blue Knights had no answer for Lewisburg for the entire game and the Green Dragons cruised in the first round of the state playoffs with a 6-0 rout over Wyoming Seminary.

The win advances the Green Dragons to the state quarterfinals Saturday at a time and place to be determined against District 11 champion Notre Dame-Green Pond.

“It was kind of our focus to own the first 10 minutes and if we can do that we can set the tone,” Lewisburg coach Ben Kettlewell said. “If we get good chance of scoring in first 10, it can definitely change a game.”

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Lewisburg goalie Tony Burns jumps to try and block a shot by Wyoming Seminary in the second half at Danville on Tuesday.

“We came into this game knowing we had to come firing on all cylinders and we knew that would set the tone for the whole game,” Lewisburg’s Anthony Bhangdia said.

Bhangdia scored Lewisburg’s second goal with 32 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first half and the Green Dragons took the 2-0 lead into the half. Lewisburg knew that it wanted to get its offense going in the second half.

Kettlewell told his team at halftime how dangerous a 2-0 lead is to have, and the Green Dragons responded in the second half.

With 29:08 to play in the game, Bhangdia scored his second goal of the night to give Lewisburg a 3-0 lead and the rout was on after that.

“We knew this was a hard working team and Coach Kettlewell even told us at halftime ‘2-0 is a very dangerous score to be up at halftime,'” Bhangdia said. “We knew we had to match them. We did and we got what we wanted and got some goals.”

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Wyoming Seminary's Gavin Flanley dives and blocks a shot by Lewisburg in the first half at Danville on Tuesday.

“I thought his goal was really huge in the second half and kind of relaxed us and kind of broke their back a little bit,” Kettlewell said. “Their energy dropped after that goal went in and then we were able to kind of move the ball around and pick and choose our moments to attack.”

Just like the first goal, Lewisburg showed how fast it could strike in the second half when Jack Dieffenderfer and Elijah Adams scored conecutive goals in just a 45-second span, both scoring from within a few yards of the 6-yard box.

The two goals helped build the lead to 5-0. The Green Dragons were able to spark more in the second half and fired seven shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.

“They’re well-organized and very defensive-minded team,” Kettewell said of Wyoming Seminary. “We had to score two great goals in the first half and they kind of took it to us and we kind of lost focus in the first half that we were able to refocus in the second half and up the scoring.”

The Green Dragons completely neutralized any threats from the Blue Knights. Wyoming Seminary fired just one shot the whole night which came from a direct kick 23 yards out. The shot went high, ricocheting off the football crossbar.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Lewisburg's Elijah Adams plays the ball against Wyoming Seminary on Tuesday in Danville.

That 12-0 shots on goal edge for Lewisburg and dominance from start to finish is a credit to the overall team effort and defensive pressure Lewisburg puts on its opponents.

“We knew that they really played over the top and played long balls more directly. We knew they had one kid that tried to shoot the ball, if he got it, he’s taking it long, he’s not dribbling anything,”

Lewisburg goalie Tony Burns said. “That allowed us to shut them down in the middle.”

“I got to credit Alan Daniel and my defensive line. They kind of back each other up and communicate and kind of limit and push guys to certain spaces and stuff like that,” Kettlewell said. “We were aware of their top dogs and they have some good players. But if we can kind of just work together as a team and limit their space, I think we believe in just denying their shots. That’s kind of been our focus all year.”

Lewisburg made it a 6-0 lead when Nicholas Passaniti was fed a throughball to about 30 yards out and got past the Blue Knights’ back line to get a 1-v-1 look with Wyoming Seminary goalie Gavin Flanley. That’s when Passaniti dribbled to 10 yards out and rifled a shot toward the right post, sneaking it past Flanley’s fingertips as he dove to attempt to stop it.

The Green Dragons could have had at least three more goals if it wasn’t for Flanley’s standout diving and blocks.

It looked as if Lewisburg would take a 3-0 lead halfway through the first half when Philip Permyashkin had a low shot toward the right post. Flanley dove to block it, but it stayed in play. Flanley then made a great second effort to grab the loose ball as it slowly was inching toward the goal line.

Lewisburg 6, Wyoming Seminary 0

(PIAA Class AA playoffs)

L-Alan Daniel (Elijah Adams), 38:49. L-Anthony Bhangdia (Adams), 32:48. L-Bhangdia, 29:08. L-Jack Dieffenderfer (Evan Hopkinson), 23:04. L-Adams (Ben Liscum), 22:21. L-Nicholas Passaniti, 4:16.

Shots: WS 0, L 12. Corners: WS 2, L 7. Saves: WS 6 (Gavin Flanley), L 0 (Tony Burns).

Records: Lewisburg (19-0). Next game: Lewisburg vs. Notre Dame-GP, Saturday, TBA.

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