G-A defeats James Buchanan
Tuesday evening served as a fresh start for the Greencastle-Antrim girls' soccer team. Turns out, it might be just what the Blue Devils needed.
Beginning the second half of their Mid-Penn Colonial Division schedule, the Blue Devils' progression was evident against James Buchanan, with G-A controlling play en route to a 2-0 victory at Kaley Field.
The win was only Greencastle's third of the year, but it's quite clear this is a vastly-improved squad from the one that lost to JB, 3-1, in their first meeting on Sept. 7.
"Now we're putting it all together," G-A head coach Aric Bruner said. "We've been in close games and for the second half of the season I've challenged the girls to finish. Tonight was the most-complete performance we've had yet."
Providing a constant spark, freshman Sydra Royer was sensational for the Blue Devils (3-8-1), scoring the game's first goal while relentlessly pressuring the JB cage. Royer set the tone from the opening whistle, receiving a pass from Lyza Martin and ripping a shot inside the far post to give Greencastle a 1-0 lead less than eight minutes in.
"Sydra is going to be special," Bruner said. "She has an endless motor, and as a freshman, she's only going to get better."
Royer was also involved on G-A's second goal, taking a cross from Madison Sherrill before sending a touch to Martin, who hit a beauty to the upper-right corner for the 2-0 cushion with 8:51 remaining.
While Royer and Martin registered the goals, it was a collective effort that produced the shutout victory.
"Our center-mids Sarah Douglas and Ellie Furnish really took over in the second half," Bruner said. "That was the difference for us. If we can just continue to play together like that, good things will happen. I'm very proud of these girls and how they've kept battling."
Defensively, goalie Hannah Beeler was a force in the net, routinely challenging JB attackers while making a few tough saves to maintain the lead. Riley Gelsinger and Amber Brown were both very active in front of Beeler as well, frustrating the Rockets throughout.
The Blue Devils will look to build on Tuesday's victory when they travel to face Northern York Thursday.
Greencastle-Antrim's Amber Brown (16) and Riley Gelsinger (14) defend against James Buchanan's Addy Crouse (22) during Tuesday's girls' varsity soccer game at Kaley Field. PHOTO BY BEN DESTEFAN
Greencastle-Antrim's Sydra Royer (36) battles for the ball against James Buchanan's Kirstin Eichelberger (2) during Tuesday's girls' soccer game. PHOTO BY BEN DESTEFAN