A sterling first-half performance sent Biglerville to intermission in possession of a two-goal advantage over Lancaster Catholic on Saturday morning, but the visiting Crusaders stormed out of the break and responded by evening the match just prior to the midway point of the second half.
The Canners had a scintillating finishing kick in them, however, as they pocketed a trio of goals in the final 10 minutes of the match to capture a 5-2 victory in boys’ soccer action at Musselman Stadium in Biglerville.
“A two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead to have,” Biglerville head coach Jebb Nelson said. “You’re at risk of relaxing, because you think you have the match won. But the other team still thinks they’re in it, so they keep fighting. Our guys showed a lot of poise after they tied it up.”
Lancaster Catholic (6-3) leveled the match when Dawson Schreck potted a goal at the 21:50 mark of the second half off an assist from Ethan Paulukow as Paulukow played a ball from left to right, crossing in front of the Biglerville net at short range. Schreck blasted his shot back to the left for the tying marker.
That seemed to awaken the hosts as they went full bore into hunting the go-ahead tally with Jesus Salazar-Ruelas (19:13), Emanuel Esquivias (17:04) and Cam Tyson (11:48) all having chances to put the Canners ahead. Though Crusader net minder Nathan Hummer denied all of them.
Hummer couldn’t deny Esquivias’ rocket off a set-up from Salazar-Ruelas with 9:38 to play, ablast that came from 25 yards out from the center of the pitch that found the top left corner of the net.
“I was open, called for the ball, took a touch to gather myself and let it rip,” Esquivias said. “If we win the midfield, we win the game. We played well there and the goals came.”
Esquivias added another goal off an assist from Tyson with 5:23 remaining. This one was set up by a pass from left to center. Esquivias uncorked a worm burner along the ground that Hummer got a hand on, but not enough to keep it from squirting into the net.
Biglerville (8-0) put the match to bed when Esquivias set up Isiah Kuykendall for the latter’s third goal of the match and second hat trick of the campaign with 3:32 to go.
Kuykendall hiked his season goal total to 14 with Saturday’s performance.
“Isiah and Emanuel are really good friends off the field,” Nelson said. “They have a good personal connection and they put themselves in great position to connect with each other on the field.”
The matchup featured two sides that were in the top four of the District 3 Class 2A power rankings prior to the contest, with Biglerville holding the second spot and LC checking in at fourth. The Canners climbed to second following the win while the Crusaders slipped to 10th.
“I’m not sure if this was a statement game, a statement game would be a 5-0 win,” Nelson said. “They’re a great team and this win puts us in a good position going forward.”
While not completely controlling the match, Biglerville did have the better of the run of play for most of it and the Canners were putting pressure on Hummer almost from the start. He did manage to stop Kuykendall’s shot with 28:07 left in the opening half, but it was no dice less than 90 seconds later.
Esquivias sent a cross from center to left and Kuykendall let fly from 15 yards out with a belt that went right through Hummer’s grasp and into the net with 26:40 left until the break.
Just under three minutes later, Kuykendall scored once again. This time with a header off of a long throw-in from Juan Garcia.
“Our midfield and our defense really stepped up and played well today,” Kuykendall said. “When we do that, we usually play well as a team.”
LC’s first salvo of the match came when Jack Engle scored an unassisted goal with 33:26 left in the contest on a bomb from 25 yards out on the left flank. It clanged off the top right corner of the woodwork and fell straight down, just over the goal line.
Biglerville held a 12-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 5-3 edge in corners.
The Canners return to YAIAA-3 play with a trio of road matches this week. They play at Bermudian Springs (6-3, 4-2) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., then at Delone Catholic on Thursday at 4 p.m., before wrapping up the week at Hanover on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Lancaster Catholic 0 2 — 2
Biglerville 2 3 — 5
Goals: LC-Jack Engle, Dawson Schreck; B-Isiah Kuykendall 3, Emanuel Esquivias 2. Assists: LC-Ethan Paulukow; B-Esquivias 2, Juan Garcia, Jesus Salazar-Ruelas, Cam Tyson. Shots: LC-4; B-12. Corners: LC-3; B-5. Saves: LC-Nathan Hummer (7); B-Rodrigo Beltran-Lua (2), Julian Mendez (0)