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Wontorra makes first goal count for Storm

September 22, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER

Mercersburg Academy junior Marcel Wontorra has been playing soccer in America for four weeks. St. Maria Goretti might say he's worn out his welcome.

Wontorra scored his first goal on U.S. soil with 10 minutes remaining Friday evening to lift Mercersburg to its third straight win, edging the Gaels 2-1.

"I'm pretty happy I scored," said Won-torra, who hails from Bremen, Germany. "The first goal is always the best one."

Normally a defender, Wontorra had an unusual opportunity to score after he moved to the midfield in the second half. Wontorra spent time as a midfielder while playing in Germany, but saw his first action at the position for the Blue Storm. He made the most of the opportunity by taking an Ethan Strickler pass in traffic and booting it inside the right goal post to give Mercersburg a 2-1 edge.

"I had a feeling that I was close to the goal," Wontorra said. "It was kind of crowded so I knew I had to kick it. ... I got it pretty good."

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Wontorra's move to midfield was one of several made by Mercersburg coach Peter Kempe at halftime. The switches proved to be effective, especially on the defensive end, as the Blue Storm (3-1-1) allowed the Gaels (3-4-2) only one second-half shot on goal - none in the last 25 minutes.

"We said at halftime that we need to put much more pressure on the ball," Kempe said. "We didn't want (Goretti) to control it, so we moved some of our more technical players up front."

Mercersburg took its first lead in the 14th minute when Strickler set up a direct kick from 20 yards and lined it to the back right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, Goretti evened the score at 1 when David Applebaum crossed a pass from the right sideline to Will Dennis, who made one touch before pushing it through.

"That goal was vital in order to keep our heads and hearts in the game," said Goretti coach Marty Wills. "We had some defensive breakdowns and some bad touches that really could have cost us more than they did. I think we had a little bit of luck on our side to be able to stay in it for as long as we did the way we played."

Goretti had few opportunities after the goal and was outshot 12-4. The Gaels are winless in their last five games (0-4-1).

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