Just 73 seconds into the match, Biglerville’s Isiah Kuykendall found the back of the net. A goal by teammate Juan Garcia 11 minutes into the second half put a bow on the scoring in the Canners’ 2-0 victory over homestanding Gettysburg in boys’ soccer action Monday night at Warrior Stadium.
Kuykendall’s 18th marker of the campaign came on a redirect of a long throw-in by Garcia at the 38:47 mark of the opening half. Garcia launched his throw from the right sideline and it bounced once in the middle of the pitch about 10 yards in front of the net.
“Having a kid that has a long throw is something that we always try to have,” Biglerville head coach Jebb Nelson said. “It’s another weapon at our disposal and we actually prefer getting throws, rather than corners, because they can be much more accurate.”
That shot was the only one that the Canners had that was on target in the first half and the Warriors only managed to have one shot on target in the opening 40 minutes, as well.
Gettysburg’s go at goal came at the 11:07 mark when Malachi Abma sent one toward the net that was stonewalled by Biglerville backstop Rodrigo Beltran.
“Our guys kept their heads up, even after we gave up an early goal,” Gettysburg co-head coach Scott Hancock said. “But we have to have better decision making than we had tonight. At times we play intelligent soccer, at other times, we don’t.”
Gettysburg (5-5-1) had a chance to level the match, but Beltran easily handled Luis Martinez-Gonzalez’s try from deep on the flank at the 30:22 mark of the second half and that was the Warriors’ final shot on target of the contest.
Garcia’s goal came just under two minutes later from 25 yards out on the right side off of a helper from Jesus Salazar-Ruelas. It went above Gettysburg keeper Michael Biba before dipping below the crossbar, doubling the visitors’ advantage in the process with 28:39 to play.
“Honestly, I wasn’t trying to shoot there. It was more of a failed cross,” Garcia admitted. “But I’ll take it. It was big for us to score early and I thought that it gave us more confidence.”
Biglerville (12-0) recorded its sixth clean sheet of the campaign and has outscored its opponents, 46-9, on the season.
“Our defense has been stellar all season for us,” Nelson said. “That’s how you win championships and they take pride in posting goose eggs.”
Nelson was very pleased with the defense that his side played against Abma and Francisco Sandoval, both senior midfielders for the Warriors.
“They have two great players in the midfield that are capable of scoring from anywhere on the field,” he said. “So we had to keep a close eye on them and not give them much room when they had the ball, because it only takes a second for them to get off a quality shot.”
Coming off of a 4-8 season in 2020 that saw Biglerville miss the district playoffs for the first time since 1997, Nelson expected a much better year from his team this season and so far he’s gotten it.
Biglerville currently sits in second place in the District 3 Class 2A power rankings and Nelson was quick to credit the work of Mo Oduor, a trainer with SCPASA, a club soccer program that has seven of the Canners’ players on its roster.
“The high level of training that SCPASA and the trainers provide is invaluable to our soccer community,” Nelson said. “These kids are receiving high-quality training and it shows in their improvement since last season.”
Meanwhile, Gettysburg, which is trying to qualify for the district tournament for the first time since 2018, sits in 14th in the Class 3A rankings. The top 16 teams qualify in that class.
The shot count finished with Biglerville ahead, 6-2, and the Canners also led in corners, 4-3.
Biglerville has three more matches to play this week as York Catholic comes to town tonight, then the Canners host Fairfield on Thursday before wrapping up the week at Shippensburg on Saturday.
Gettysburg plays at York Suburban on Thursday.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Biglerville 1 1 — 2
Gettysburg 0 0 — 0
Goals: B-Isiah Kuykendall, Juan Garcia. Assists: B-Garcia, Jesus Salazar-Ruelas. Shots: B-6; G-2. Corners: B-4; G-2. Saves: B-Rodrigo Beltran (2); G-Michael Biba (4). JV: Biglerville 0, Gettysburg 0