Williamsport boys fall to undefeated Danville 3-1
With Williamsport goalie Sam Radulski on his knees trying to quickly get up, Danville’s Daniel Hartzell saw an opportunity. The sophomore had the ball just a few feet from Radulski and didn’t waste any time as he saw his chance to score. Hartzell quickly tapped a shot just past Radulski to put the Ironmen ahead with 13 seconds to play until halftime.
It was a huge goal for Danville going into the half that helped swing the momentum away from Williamsport. It carried throughout the beginning of the second half and helped Danville leave Balls Mills on Thursday afternoon with a 3-1 win to remain undefeated and hand the Millionaires their second loss.
“We were very aware of their threats. They have multiple with Dameon (White), PJ (Cera) and Daniel Hartzell. We knew what they had,” Williamsport coach Lee Kaar said. “Going up one goal, it’s not like we said this is going to win it.”
The Millionaires (4-2) took a lead late in the first half over the Ironmen (8-0). Jimmy Pombor took a ball from midfield and got to the 18. With a Danville defender on him, Pombor used some great footwork with his back to the defender to move left and drilled a shot toward the right post for the 1-0 lead.
Danville responded just two minutes later though when Cera managed to score from just inside the 18 and make it a 1-1 game.
“We knew they would have that double pivot in the back. … I have faith in our front three. I think all of them now have at least five or six goals on the season. When you have an attack like that, I’m like ‘guys we can just counter attack,'” Danville coach Brian Dressler said.
Danville kept up its aggressive attack to start the second half and it resulted with a goal just four and a half minutes in.
With an indirect kick inside the 18, Williamsport lined up in front of the goal. Cera took the kick and sent it to his right to the feet of Hartzell. He wasted no time, drilling a shot high which hit the crossbar and bounced in to put the Ironmen up, 3-1.
“It was huge. The first half we had multiple chances, we didn’t finish. Second half we had multiple chances, we didn’t finish. I thought our attack was great today. I mean three goals, we could have had five or six really if some of those guys finish some of those chances,” Dressler said. “But our attack was excellent. We really wanted to focus on keeping our shape and counter attacking quickly. I think the team did an amazing job with that today.”
Williamsport had its chances throughout the second half. After being held to just two shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, the Millionaires had five shots on goal — and seven shots total — in the second half.
With 17:47 to play, Williamsport looked as if it was going to cut the deficit down to one goal when Evan Brittain had the ball near the goal line. The freshman tapped in his shot, which rolled to just inches from crossing the plane, but somehow never went in and was eventually cleared. It was one of the best chances for Williamsport to score in the second half.
The Ironmen nearly put in a fourth goal with 27:34 left in the second half when Cera took a ball 20 yards out and sent a high shot he tried to sneak under the crossbar. It hit the bar, however, coming just six inches from being an incredible goal.
“First three to five minutes we came out flat and that allowed them, I thought, to get some momentum. You can’t put yourself in a hole two goals down against a quality team,” Kaar said. “We had some chances. We’re pleased with how they played physically. … It definitely puts a spotlight on some things, more so mentally than physically. We got some opportunities, we just need to get that (finish).”
Danville 3, Williamsport 1
W–Jimmy Pombor, 9:37. D–PJ Cera, 7:22. D–Daniel Hartzell, 0:13. D–Hartzell (Cera), 35:30.
Shots: D 12, W 7. Corners: D 2, W 1. Saves: D 5 (Evan Haas), W 9 (Sam Radulski).
Records: Danville (8-0), Williamsport (4-2). Next game: Altoona at WIlliamsport, Saturday, 3 p.m.