Soccer Team Stands Tall

Connolly, Andy

The Centurions came into last Wednesday’s game against Harrisburg Area Community College riding high – almost too high.

Coming off a shutout win last Monday against fourth ranked Manor College, the 9-1 Centurions looked surprised in the first half against Harrisburg. They went into the half down 1-0 after playing a bit sloppy, but came out strong in the second half to pull out a 3-2 win and improve to 10-1.

Harrisburg, a team playing at the club level, was half-an-hour late and had very little time to warm up before game time. Nevertheless, they came out strong and caught Bucks off guard by scoring the first goal.

The Centurions’ confidence level was a little too high in the first half and it showed in their sloppy play.

“They may only be a club team, but we’ll take the win,” a Bucks fan said before the game.

Early on, Harrisburg, which hopes to gain official recognition next season, was outfighting Bucks for the ball. Though the Centurions had many shots on goal in the first half, none seemed aimed anywhere but at the Harrisburg goalkeeper.

Whatever Coach Laiacona said at the half seemed to bring them back into focus.

The Centurions’ J.J. Sands scored their first goal off a corner kick early in the second. The score stayed tied until Kyle Pelgren threw a ball in that was headed in by Jansen Malloy. Pelgren, seemingly a throw-in specialist, again tossed a ball on net, which was put in by Steve Immordino for the third goal.

The game was physical. There was one scary moment when Bucks goalkeeper Ed Hainesworth went down hard defending a corner-kick. He did not immediately get up; when he did it was slowly. Fortunately he only had the wind knocked out of him.

So far this season Hainesworth has four shutouts. In the last game he shut out Manor College 4-0 and had eight saves. Ken Skele opened that game’s scoring on a penalty kick. Ryan Melhuish, Kyle Wolf, and Pete Kershner also scored goals in that game, while Jason Twelves had two assists.

Wednesday’s final goal was scored by Harrisburg with about a minute left. However, there was not even enough time left to start thinking about a comeback before the final whistle blew.

“It was a sloppy game, but we came thru in the win column,” said Coach Laiacona after the game. “We played better in the second half.”

The Centurions have three remaining regular season games – as of press-time – before the playoffs start. If they continue winning, they will host the Divisional Playoffs on October 25.