By Andrew Petyak and Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High boys soccer team closed its season on a promising note despite a loss yesterday.
The Lancers came up short in a nonsection home game against Central Valley, 2-1.
Neshannock (5-12-1) is a Class A school, while Central Valley is a Class AA school.
“Our seniors really stepped up this year,” Lancers coach Dustin Ault said. “We had a lot of inexperience on our team with five kids never playing soccer before.”
Neshannock finished the season 3-3 after starting 2-9-1.
“We won against some pretty good teams,” Ault said. “Teams that beat us earlier in the season, we ended up beating in the rematch.”
Neshannock beat Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Quigley Catholic after dropping games to the two teams earlier in the season.
Connor Richards scored the team’s lone goal against Central Valley in the first half. Clay Kemerer had the assist.
“Connor has scored more than half our goals this year,” Ault said “He’s been a valuable member of the team.”
Neshannock, which was leading 1-0 at the half, couldn’t close out the Warriors in the second half. Central Valley scored two goals in the final 10 minutes. Lancers goalkeeper Josh Maggi made 14 saves.
“They’re a bigger school and they really pounded us for a bit of the game,” Ault said. “We started losing pressure toward the end. I thought our defense could hold on.”
Ault is hoping his team will begin next season the way it ended this season.
“We played at the level of a playoff team by the end of the season,” Ault said. “I really felt we beat some quality playoff teams down the stretch.”