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PSN Featured Game: Deer Lakes caps unbeaten section run with rout

PSN Featured Game

FINAL – Deer Lakes 7, Freeport 0


Earlier this season, Deer Lakes needed a late charge to overcome a 3-1 deficit with 13 minutes remaining against section rivals Freeport, eventually winning in overtime.

On Thursday, the Lancers didn’t have to mount a comeback as they took command early in the rematch, then cruised to a 7-0 victory over the Yellow Jackets to win its 11th straight match to remain undefeated this season.

“On a given night, anything can happen. They really tested us last time, We don’t take those things for granted any more. We were prepared. Mentally. Physically, we were prepared, and everyone executed,” Jordan Wiegand, Deer Lakes coach, said. “It was big night for the guys. It was a senior night and gave them a result they’ll never forget against a section rival.”

Deer Lakes showed why they’re going to be a very difficult team in Class 2A to take out when the WPIAL playoffs begin next week.

On this evening, the Lancers brought plenty of firepower to its attack, with contributions from numerous goal scorers in this match, as Ryan Butler scored twice along with goals from Michael Rothrauff, Ryan Rodgers, Nick Caro, A.J. Dorman and Tristen Henerman

“Everything clicked, and we talked about our three key players in the middle, but we really rely on all eleven on the field, and everyone that comes on after,” Wiegand said. “One of our biggest strengths — and biggest difference between last year’s team, and this year’s — is we’re scoring goals.

The trio of Deer Lakes’ sophomore midfielders Wiegand was referring to include Devin Murray, Michael Sullivan and Colton Spence — who set the tone for the rest of the team.

The sophomores, who also play together for Arsenal Football Club, had their way with controlling possession and dictating tempo for long stretches in a match against a playoff-bound opponent.

There wasn’t an official possession tracker for this match, but the Lancers owned somewhere the vicinity of 75 percent of the game’s possession.

In the first ten minutes, the Lancers started with a strong attacking mindset, resulting in four corner kicks and a bevy of throw-ins, as Freeport’s defenders under constant pressure were scrambling to clear balls away from the box.

As the Lancers’ mounted more pressure, eventually they drew a foul in the box that set up a penalty kick chance for Butler that resulted in the game’s first goal in the 17th minute.

Butler blasted his shot toward the center of goal, while Freeport’s keeper Luke Heider went to his right.

Eleven minutes later, the Lancers utilized patience and creativity to play a short corner, then played a ball back toward the near post area where a half dozen players converged. Winning the battle in the scrum was senior Michael Rothrauff, who tapped in the goal to double the lead over the Yellow Jackets in the 29th minute.

Early in the second half, trailing 2-0, Freeport appeared to get back to keeping a well organized shape in the back, limiting Deer Lakes’ chances.

Eventually the Yellow Jackets would be picked apart for five second half goals.

It started with two quick goals in the 57th and 58th minutes of the match.

Sullivan made a few nifty moves to get behind three Freeport players, then he found Dorman who sent a ball on frame. Sophomore Rodgers redirected Dorman’s ball that appeared to be heading toward goal, and was credited with the goal that slipped past Freeport’s Luke Heider.

Less than a minute later, the Lancers drew another penalty in the box, and this time, senior defender and team captain Caro stepped up to take the kick.

Caro left no doubt on his shot attempt, sliding a shot inside the left post.

In the final moments of the match, Deer Lakes added three goals against a worn down Freeport side that were chasing most of the match.

Late goals were added from Butler ,Henerman on another short corner and finally Dorman in the game’s final five minutes.

The Lancers have high aspirations this season, and after capturing a section title on Tuesday in an exciting 2-1 comeback win decided by a Spence penalty kick, they achieved another milestone on Thursday — an undefeated section season (11-0-1).

“We were battling for something bigger, and Freeport was in our way,” Wiegand said. “We wanted to make sure we that we had that undefeated section run. That was huge for us.”

Post-game Interview – Nick Caro and Jesse Greyshock 

Ed Thompson Gallery 

(we will be uploading additional photos on Friday morning) 

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John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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