A district win would mean the world to Devils

October 15, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

While the Greencastle-Antrim boys soccer team seems poised to conquer the world, the No. 1 Blue Devils probably would settle for just a first-round win in the PIAA District 3 Class AA tournament later this season.

That would be a huge conquest in itself.

"Since I've been here, we've made it to districts four times and have been knocked out in the first round each time," said Scott Gelsinger, in his sixth year as Greencastle coach. "From the beginning of the year, that's been the goal of the kids, not only to get to districts but to win that first game and keep playing."

But first things first.

The Devils (14-1, 10-1), winners of four of the last five Mid-Penn Colonial Division titles, all but clinched the Capital Division title in the newly realigned conference Thursday night with a 2-1 win over Trinity, while avenging their only loss of the season.


All that now stands between Greencastle and the Capital crown is Harrisburg, a 12-1 loser to the Devils earlier this season. Greencastle hosts Harrisburg on Tuesday for its final regular-season game.

Then, most likely on Thursday, the Devils probably will play either Northern or West Perry in a one-game playoff. The winner will receive one of the Mid-Penn's five Class AA tickets to the 16-team district tourney, while the loser stays home.

Either way, this Greencastle team has left its mark, especially on opponents, outscoring them, 80-10.

"Our team's been playing really well," Gelsinger said. "The talent is deep. It's one of the deepest teams I've had. We have kids who can score goals and we play pretty good defense."

Through Wednesday, senior forward Jared Barkdoll, an All-Area first-teamer last year, had a team-high 22 goals; sophomore forward Treavor Gelsinger, a second-teamer last year, had 20 goals and a team-high 25 assists; senior midfielder Dustin Young had 18 goals and 13 assists; and keeper Stephen Sprague - getting key help from defenders Adam Haldeman, Kyle Kulpak, Josh Cowden and Adam Wiestling - had pitched five shutouts, while allowing 0.69 goals per game.

Antietam battlefields

Barring any huge upsets, the North Hagerstown vs. Boonsboro game Oct. 25 will determine the MVAL Antietam Conference boys champion. Williamsport, which won the first Antietam title last year and the previous four MVAL crowns, appears to be out of contention.

Catoctin, unbeaten in the Antietam, is in the driver's seat in the girls title chase. But once-beaten North could make things very interesting with a win at Catoctin on Monday.

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