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Boys soccer falls in finals

The Whitehall Zephyrs were awarded silver medals after the District XI Class 3A boys soccer final won by Southern Lehigh, 3-0, last Wednesday night at Catasauqua Middle School’s Alumni Stadium.

“It’s a great group of young men who worked very hard throughout the season,” said Whitehall first-year head coach Christian Malone. “Tonight wasn’t our night, but we were 14-8 on the season, we beat Emmaus in the (EPC) quarterfinal, we beat a 16-1 Northampton team, so there were some great highlights on the season. It’s a bright future, and this was a showing of a good group.”

Southern Lehigh’s Landon Bealer scored midway through the first half on an assist by Jack Johnson, but the Spartans threatened to score well before then.

“I think they executed better and that was evident in the first 25 minutes,” Malone said. “They got after it right away, were able to complete and execute more passes, win more balls in the air, and they have a very talented keeper (Ayden Scharper) who did a good job handling anything we threw at him.”

Johnson’s header two minutes before the Spartans’ first goal unbelievably hit the post, and Whitehall keeper Cole Guerney made two nice saves within the same time frame.

The Zephyrs created more chances for themselves in the last 10 minutes of the first half with shots by Oscar Vasquez and Valentin Lezcano.

“If we would’ve been able to make it 1-1, it changes the momentum,” said Malone. “I think our best chance came in the last 12 minutes of the first half.”

Whitehall maintained more possession in the second half, and defender Abdulazim Ojulari-Sulyman held off Southern Lehigh’s strikers several times.

Lezcano took a shot from 35 yards out, but it was Sidney Rosenberg who found the back of the net for the Spartans off a corner in the 63rd minute.

Bealer finished the match with the Spartans’ third goal of the night.

“We had some good possession,” Malone said, “but a lot of the second-half shots from farther out and that keeper, you’ve really got to hit a beautiful ball from 30 yards out to score on him.”

Whitehall won its semifinal, 2-1, against Bangor, and Southern Lehigh defeated Pocono Mountain East, 2-1, to advance to the district final.