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Williamsport City Lions men’s team defeats Allentown United II, claims UPSL Division I trophy

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette The Williamsport City Lions, in their inaugural season, hoist the UPSL Division I trophy after a 5-0 win against Allentown United II at Penn College's UPMC Field on Saturday.

The last time the Williamsport City Lions men’s club played Allentown United II, they were a goal down 20 minutes in and the team was all over the place.

Kenny Fern, at the club’s helm for its inaugural year, anticipated a long season. What he got instead were his players hoisting a beaming silver cup above smiling, cheering faces.

Williamsport, in a rematch with Allentown, shut out the latter 5-0 at Penn College’s UPMC Field on Saturday. Having already clinched the United Premier Soccer League Division I title prior, the ceremony was happening regardless of the outcome.

“Crazy. Absolutely crazy from start to finish,” Fern said on the club’s first season.

The City Lions (10-0-2) went the first three games without a single practice and won all of them. To this day, Williamsport hasn’t fielded a full squad for practice with players being either out or away.

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette The Williamsport City Lions pose with the UPSL Division I trophy after defeating Allentown United II, 5-0 at Penn College's UPMC Field on Saturday.

But on Saturday, the whole club was clicking like it has all season. Five different players found the back of the net, starting with a poke-in from Logan Moore off a free kick in the 28th minute.

Three minutes later, South Williamsport grad Hayden Swinehart doubled up the City Lions’ lead after receiving a pass across the middle of the 6-yard box from Kolachi Pombor — a Williamsport grad — and netting one.

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Williamsport City Lions forward Kolachi Pombor eyes the ball against Allentown United II at UPMC Field on Saturday.

“We knew coming into this game from previously playing them that they play a high line,” Swinehart said. “I was told to just play off the line, risk it, try to score some goals and Kolachi had a great pass across and I did what I could to tap it in.”

Swinehart is coming off a senior year of high school in which he scored 30 goals and 10 assists, averaged 1.8 goals per game, 0.6 assists per game and was named the Sun-Gazette Player of the Year.

In his fifth game and third start for Williamsport, he was back in rhythm following his track and field state final appearance in the spring.

“Obviously it was a big adjustment for me playing up to bigger, faster competition,” Swinehart said. “But after a little bit, I think I came along well and I’m fitting in with everyone now.”

After taking a two-goal lead into the break, Sean Barant scored in the 69th minute, followed by a breakaway goal from Colton Miller 14 minutes later.

Tevin Beadle capped off the scoring with one last goal as time expired. While Allentown United II (6-4-2) had 10 shots — just one less than the City Lions — only three were on goal compared to 10 from Williamsport being on net.

“They’re just so dynamic on forward,” Fern said. “They stick to our style of play and bring the team onto us and exploit them with pacing. We’ve just done it game after game.”

Allentown had more chances to put something on the board in the second half. Six of the club’s shots were made in that time and early on after the half.

Alastair Stark, behind a back line that wasn’t budging, registered three saves for Williamsport on the day.

“We knew they could cause us problems in the back. Having lost two goals yesterday, two goals in the previous game as well away, we wanted to stay sharp in the back,” Fern said. “If we give them the ball, stay tight, stay compact … don’t ball chase, let them have it and just exploit it when we can.”

After the game, the team raised the league trophy up three times, posed for pictures and a few players hit the griddy in celebration. What looked to be a long season turned out to be one without a blemish barring two draws.

“Even without the trophy, the season was amazing,” Swinehart said. “To bring something like this to Williamsport, it’s just great. To have a trophy on top — these guys are all amazing. We definitely deserve it after a long season.”

WCL-Logan Moore, 27:27. WCL-Hayden Swinehart (Kolachi Pombor), 30:37. WCL-Sean Barrant, 68:47. WCL-Colton Miller, 82:55. WCL-Tevin Beadle, 89:40.

Shots: WCL 11, AL 10. Corners: WCL 3, AL 4. Saves: WCL 3, AL 6.

Records: Williamsport (10-0-2), Allentown (6-4-2).

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