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Boys soccer season ends in state quarterfinal

Patience is a virtue. Both Northwestern Lehigh (17-5-1) and Bishop Shanahan (19-4-0) needed plenty of patience Saturday evening when they waited in frigid, damp weather for nearly two and a half hours past their scheduled game time to play the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinal soccer game.

A power outage at halftime of the girls game kept everybody waiting and then overtime in that game further delayed the start of the boys game. When things finally got underway, Northwestern Lehigh gave up two first half goals, which would be the only goals in the game, leaving the Tigers on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.

The Tigers came out showing no ill effects of the prolonged delay and had two open looks in the first minute of play. Unfortunately for the Tigers, goalie Bryce Domsohn was up to the task and made a save on one play and the other went wide of the goal.

A few minutes later, Domsohn’s twin brother, Zane, found himself unmarked and put a shot on goal that goalie Mason Crocco saved nicely. Less than a minute after his initial shot, Domsohn was again open, and this time took a crossing pass from Colin Deal and got it past Crocco for the first goal of the game.

“We came out buzzing,” said Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker. “We had some really good opportunities early on, but left their best player unmarked on a corner, which was something we harped on in the days leading up to the game and he’s going to finish those opportunities that he’s given.”

“Mason made some fantastic saves and was able to knock it out a couple of times, but we just weren’t able to clear it out.”

Northwestern Lehigh looked to even the game when Colin Coffield took a pass toward the goal and headed it, but Bryce Domsohn was able to make the save. Minutes later, the Bishop Shanahan goalie made an ill-advised pass out of the goal to a teammate. The Tigers’ Matt Johnson stepped in front of and turned it into a shot, but the ball went over the crossbar.

The Eagles came out playing a very physical brand of soccer and eventually the Tigers began to answer the physical play. Mason Brensinger was handed a yellow card and left the field for five minutes, but the turn in attitude by Northwestern sent a message.

In the last minute of the first half, Bishop Shanahan had a shot ricochet off the crossbar and then Zane Domsohn did further damage by heading the ball past Crocco to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead at halftime.

The second half was somewhat uneventful but saw both sides have opportunities and both goalies make solid saves to prevent any further scoring. Late in the half, Bishop Shanahan turned its approach to simply playing keep away with the ball and allowing time to run off the clock to advance to the semifinals.

“We couldn’t generate any offense in the second half,” said Hunsicker. “They’re a good team and we have nothing to hang our heads over and nothing to be ashamed of, because we had a hell of a year.”

PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Northwestern's Lucas Van Lierop scores a goal in the first round of the state playoffs.