It wasn’t the prettiest output, but the Elizabethtown Area High School boys soccer team opened up its season with mixed-to-positive results. Two goals allowed, two goals scored. One win, one loss. All with a fairly young team. The Bears are hoping that this start is something they’ll be able to build off of.
The team began the year at home against Dallastown on Friday, Aug. 31. Senior goalkeeper J.J. Oberholtzer, making his first career start in the net for the Bears, got a workout early, stopping a Wildcats shot off a free-kick just three minutes into the game.
However, Dallastown got an easier opportunity for a goal just past the midway point of the first half, with senior Gabe Wunderlich converting a penalty kick to give his team the lead. Senior Matteo Conigliaro got one past Oberholtzer with seven minutes on the clock to put the Wildcats up 2-0, a score that held all the way to halftime.
Elizabethtown’s defense stiffened up in the second half, holding Dallastown to just one shot on goal. The offense broke the ice with 19 minutes to go after junior David Fry found the net off a header thanks to a beautiful pass from senior Jake Sevcik to cut the score to 2-1.
The Bears had a number of opportunities to tie the game late, all of them involving senior Adam Evans. He had a shot go blazing off the crossbar with five minutes left. Shortly afterward, he looked to have found junior Daniel Tema for an open look, but junior Dallastown goalie Gavin Connors intercepted the ball.
Finally, Evans got behind the Wildcats defense with two seconds to go and sent a rocket of a shot toward the goal. But Connors made a miraculous diving save to prevent disaster, and Dallastown barely came away with the victory. He finished with 3 saves on the day; Oberholzter had 4 in the net for the Bears.
Elizabethtown had an away game on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Penn Manor. Both sides were mostly quiet on offense throughout the first half. Strong defensive play and some nice saves from Oberholtzer and Comets junior Shane Tappany resulted in a scoreless 40 minutes.
The walls came tumbling down 14 minutes into the second half, as Evans found sophomore Carlton Wise for a goal to give the Bears a 1-0 advantage. Penn Manor had a number of opportunities but was unable to convert any of them. Thus, Elizabethtown walked out with the victory. Oberholtzer stopped all seven of the Comets’ shots on goal, while Tappany finished with 3 saves.
The Bears (1-1) are scheduled to have three straight home games during their next slate of games vs. Cedar Crest on Thursday, Sept. 5, Central Dauphin on Saturday, Sept. 7, and McCaskey on Monday, Sept. 9.