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Boys Soccer: Bitner's early goal bedevils Waynesboro

October 02, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Luke Bitner admits shooting falls very low on his job description.

But it doesn’t mean the Greencastle-Antrim defender doesn’t know what to do with an opportunity when he gets it — especially when it falls on the end of his foot.

Bitner popped in a deflection while standing at the goalmouth in the 12th minute for the only goal of the match on Tuesday in the Blue Devils’ 1-0 Mid-Penn Colonial victory over rival Waynesboro.

“I got it handed to me,” Bitner said. “I play center back. I definitely don’t get many shots. It came down at my feet and I just popped it in.”

About the only thing Bitner had to do on the score was not to overthink the opportunity.

The ball came across the front of the goal, only to be deflected to cause a bounce off the left goal post. Bitner, standing to the left of the crowd and right of Waynesboro goalkeeper Kris Settlage, just popped it in the bottom left of the goal.

“Zach Faulkner does a great job flicking the ball,” said Greencastle coach Scott Gelsinger. “We use that as a weapon. It got over to Luke and he just hit it in.”

The game was a rematch of another 1-0 struggle between the two teams in a similar match with opposite circumstances.

Greencastle (10-3, 5-3) broke a scoreless tie in the 69th minute on Noah Graham’s goal off a win off a 50-50 ball.

This time, it was an early goal to add a different kind of intrigue.

“I think scoring early is worse,” said Gelsinger. “Then you have to hold on for the whole game and (Waynesboro) is pressing you. It was a shame we couldn’t get another goal because we had some good chances. We had three open chances on (Settlage) and he stopped them all.”

It proved to be a difficult game for Waynesboro (4-7, 2-7), which had problems creating opportunities.

The Indians controlled the midfield area for much of the game but had problems making the connections in the offensive end to make a solid challenge against Blue Devils goalkeeper Josh Spoonhour.

“We didn’t get enough shots,” said Waynesboro coach Doug Beckner. “You can’t do anything with only six shots. We have been having trouble in the final third (of the field). We have had trouble getting goals. We are young and that is something we have to learn.”

Greencastle produced the better quality attempts but couldn’t connect. The Blue Devils attacked the goal line, using horizontal passes and flicks by Faulkner to set up shots to no avail.

Waynesboro was held pretty much in check for most of the game, with the exception of a flurry of shots in the 62nd to 64th minutes, but failed to convert.

“It’s good to score first, no matter when it is,” Bitner said. “But sometimes when we do that, we tend to get cocky. We have been working a lot on pushing our defense up. We are getting a lot better.”

But it was easy to imagine this match going in Waynesboro’s direction, too.

“I’m happy with what we are doing,” said Beckner. “We are really young. Sometimes we have nine sophomores on the field. They need to get some confidence. A couple of close wins like this one would help. It will come ... it will come.”

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